French start-up Blue Capsule, a spin-off project from the French Alternative Energies & Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) has completed a first round of private financing, complementing the €10m grant from Bpifrance awarded in 2023 under the France2030 plan. Investors include Exergon, Eren Groupe, AUDACIA Co-Investissement, and CEA Investissement. Blue Capsule says a new fundraising round, planned for 2025, is expected to exceed the initial public funding.

Blue Capsule is developing a small modular reactor (SMR) with a capacity of 150 MWt, capable of producing industrial heat up to 700°C, steam up to 650°C, and 50 MWe of electricity. Blue Capsule says its technology combines “two mature technologies: high-temperature reactors (HTR) and sodium-cooled reactors”, which it describes as “a robust, powerful, and safe combination”. According to the company website, “Blue Capsule components are mainstays of the nuclear industry supply chain in OECD countries, and are fully familiar to national safety authorities. Our project is based on solutions already used by the French nuclear industry.”

Commenting on the announcement, EREN Groupe’s David Corchia expressed support for “a new generation of nuclear energy, including small reactors that can target new markets like large-scale industrial heat, as in the case of Blue Capsule”. He added: “Our ultimate aim is to support Blue Capsule in deploying its technology through production plants both in France and internationally.”

François Breniaux, partner at Supernova Invest, advisor to CEA Investment, said: “We are proud to support Blue Capsule in the early stages of its development. This spin-off from the CEA offers a complementary solution to the French nuclear industry’s offer, helping to strengthen a national industrial network that generates skilled jobs, and ensuring greater energy security for the European manufacturing industry.”

According to Giuseppe Sangiovanni, co-founder and managing partner of Exergon, “As lead investor, we wholeheartedly support Blue Capsule because their project can lead the way for France and Europe to decarbonise industries that are heavily reliant on natural gas supplies. It is important for us that Blue Capsule offers a solution to enhance energy sovereignty, in response to European net zero targets.” He added: “Exergon targets investment in deeptech solutions that truly contribute to speeding up the energy transition, in particular in nuclear startups.”