Meet the Resurgence Cohort 1 Startups: Alpha Nur
Kevin O’Sullivan – Cofounder and CEO
What does your company do?
Alpha Nur is pioneering nuclear fuel recycling technologies to bolster American national security and clean energy development by converting high-grade nuclear waste into mid-grade nuclear fuel, whose only supplier is Russia.
Partnering with Idaho National Laboratory, Alpha Nur is developing its environmentally sustainable and cost-effective technology to fuel the $12B next-generation nuclear fuel market, cut out Russian dependence, and slash nuclear power’s emissions by more than 60%.
How did you get the idea?
I found my first nuclear chemistry class so compelling and bizarrely beautiful that I started my high school’s nuclear science club when I was 16. During my senior year at UChicago, I founded Alpha Nur as an expression of my passion for nuclear science and tackling its challenges to realize its incredible ability to sustainably power our world.
Through intense customer discovery, Alpha Nur discovered the greatest challenge facing the deployment of tomorrow’s cleanest power source – next-generation nuclear energy – is the supply of a “mid-grade” nuclear fuel whose only supplier today is Russia. Meanwhile, the greatest uncertainty for nuclear power plants today is nuclear waste management.
By recycling the federal government’s most valuable waste, Alpha Nur will fuel America’s next-generation nuclear power plants, simultaneously solving waste management and supply chain challenges. Partnering with Idaho National Laboratory, the world leaders in nuclear fuel recycling, we’re developing the technology specifically designed for the task.
What are you most excited for as part of Resurgence?
The people of Resurgence keep me so excited. Director Ozge Guney Altay and program manager Ryan Brownlow are incredible mentors whose support spans the gamut of meeting a cleantech startup’s every need.
This includes industry veterans with deep insights into clean technology, experienced entrepreneurs who can share actionable advice, and a host of business experts in law and financing. Engaging with these diverse professionals will not only enhance our knowledge, but also provide us with a comprehensive view of cleantech challenges and opportunities, allowing us to strategically position Alpha Nur for future success.
I continue to be impressed every day with my fellow cohort. These talented innovators share a common purpose for cleantech through intense entrepreneurship. Each is not only inspiring individually, but collectively fosters the community’s environment of collaboration, knowledge exchange, and creativity.
What do you hope to get out of Resurgence?
Our primary goal is to strengthen our business acumen, focusing on areas like IP and licensing, financing strategies, and refining our pitch to attract investors and stakeholders. Resurgence’s networking and learning opportunities with industry experts, investors, and policymakers are invaluable to our growth.
In addition to working alongside Resurgence’s amazing inaugural cohort, I am eager to utilize the program’s partnerships with University’s Energy Policy Institute (EPIC), Booth School of Business, and Argonne National Laboratory, as well as Constellation, to enhance and refine our approach to the nuclear sector’s challenges. The access to Argonne’s premier researchers and engagement with the talent from the College and Booth are also critical components of our participation, aiming to bolster our R&D efforts and team composition. Constellation, generating nearly 5% of America’s electricity across its 21 reactors, is a vital industry stakeholder we hope to continue to engage with throughout the program.
Alpha Nur envisions leveraging the Resurgence accelerator to not only refine our technical and business strategies but also to expand our network and influence in the clean technology sector. We are energized to take advantage of the synergies and learning opportunities that Ozge Guney-Altay and Ryan Brownlow have so artfully and painstakingly coordinated, so Alpha Nur can realize our vision of revolutionizing nuclear energy and the face of cleantech. Ozge and Ryan are the architects of what is globally benchmark-setting for cleantech acceleration.
Where do you hope your company is a year from now?
This time next year, Alpha Nur will be a stronger, investable business positioned to realize our nuclear technology innovations. Alpha Nur is only beginning our R&D at Idaho National Laboratory, America’s nuclear prototyping lab.
Over the next year, Alpha Nur will fortify our relationship with the Department of Energy, extending our research to other National Labs in addition to INL, including Argonne National Laboratory. Through relationships introduced and nurtured by Resurgence, Alpha Nur will forge strategic corporate partnerships with nuclear and chemical technology firms as well as federal agencies to shore up Alpha Nur’s in-house expertise and expertly accelerate our technology development. All the while, we will leverage the University community to ensure Alpha Nur’s business plan aligns with broader policy and national security objectives as we bring Alpha Nur’ recycled nuclear fuel to the market by 2033.
Housed within the Polsky Center’s Deep Tech Ventures initiative, Resurgence provides full-spectrum support for its cleantech startups that are dedicated to bringing life-saving, world-changing products and services to market. To learn about the other teams, click the links below.