Energozapas Among the Finalists in the Orano International Competition for Start-ups

23 July 2020

Energozapas entered the final of the competition for start-ups organized by the French Orano Group, one of the world’s largest nuclear fuel cycle corporations. Energozapas was the only Russian company among the 14 start-ups from various countries to reach the final.

Orano established the international competition, the slogan of which is “Let’s reinvent the nuclear industry together!,” in order to attract deeptech start-ups who may be able to play a role in the development of the nuclear industry.

SSBPS is an automated technology for storing energy on an industrial scale using solid loads. The electricity is used to lift loads, and the potential energy is recovered when the loads are released. The use of SSBPS technology enables daily consumption spikes to be flattened out, thus ensuring a more balanced electricity system. This technology can be used by nuclear power stations. According to the Orano Group, nuclear energy accounts for about 30% of all energy generated in Europe, and half of the total output of low-carbon energy.

“Industrial batteries can make an electricity system more flexible. Both consumers and producers tend to be dissatisfied with the way electricity systems operate—in particular with the timing of peak generation and consumption. A flexible system can effectively resolve those problems. The use of batteries can make nuclear power more flexible. When electricity demand and prices are at a low level, nuclear power stations can charge up the batteries, and when the prices and demand have increased then the station can sell both its current and its stored energy—thereby doubling its capacity. This tandem effect gives us more leeway when generating electricity,” says Pyotr Kropotin, deputy general director of Energozapas.

Among the finalists in the Orano competition is the Portuguese company RI-TE, which is doing research into and developing radiation detection and visualization systems. Hydromea SA from Switzerland produces unmanned underwater exploration devices. AC Biode, a Japanese-British start-up is developing an effective and inexpensive method for producing graphene. The Czech start-up Neuron soundware produces acoustic sensors for the early diagnosis of mechanical problems in cars. And the grand winner of the competition was NDB Inc, a start-up based in Silicon Valley, which makes batteries with an operating life of several thousand years by recycling carbon-14 nuclear waste.