The Nuke Kids On The Block Are Coming To Disrupt SF

Solving the nation’s energy problem is not for the faint of heart, a topic we’re excited to bring to Disrupt SF this year.

Leslie Dewan, of Transatomic Power, and Jacob DeWitte, of UPower Technologies will join us on-stage next week at TechCrunch Disrupt SF to chat about how they, are bringing innovation to an industry that’s been relatively stagnant for the past 20 years.

While solar, wind and others have seen significant growth in the past few years, nuclear has continued to stall. The last nuclear plant, Watts Bar 1 in Tennessee, came online in 1996. The average age of a nuclear reactor in the US in 34 years.

And why? Nuclear power, though an energy source that could produce a high volume of consistent power, faces a strict regulatory process, large capital costs and lukewarm public opinion. Despite this, 55 nuclear startups with $1.6B, think they can make a difference.

They say startups are a small world and the nuclear community is no different. Dewan and DeWitte actually hail from the same MIT PhD class and at one time considered working together on a startup. Ultimately, they chose to pursue different advanced reactor designs with UPower focusing on smaller, off-grid applications and Transatomic aiming to power a utility sized plant. What these technologies have in common is their focus on improving safety and reducing nuclear waste.

Top notch investors including Sam Altman of YC and Peter Thiel’s Founder’s Fund are betting on nuclear too. Come to Disrupt to hear how these startups plan to make nuclear part of our energy future. The panel kicks off at 9:45am on Tuesday, September 22nd.

General-admission tickets are currently available here. If you can’t join us on-site, check out the live stream on

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