Early this year, Rachel Slaybaugh attended a campus mixer on technological innovation. When she introduced herself as a professor of nuclear engineering, other attendees would pause and ask for clarification. She remembers, “People were like, ‘Wait. What? You're from where?'” ‘“I don't know if you've noticed,” she would reply, “but the nuclear industry is a little behind in terms of innovation.”
The nuclear energy sector is often perceived as a last-century industry. But that is changing. A growing market of venture-backed startups signals that we are on the verge of a nuclear do-over.