UK-based nuclear start-up Core Power has recruited Scott Edwards, a nuclear expert with more than 30 years of experience in the transportation of radioactive materials.

Edwards revealed on social media that on Monday he joined the Mikel Boe-led company that is seeking to advance nuclear energy technologies as a pathway to zero carbon shipping as its director of regulatory development.

In this role, Edwards will oversee a team that will work towards securing consensus among flag states, maritime and nuclear regulators, intergovernmental organisations, classification societies and others around safety and security standards, licensing conditions and operational standards for offshore, near shore and in-port deployment of floating nuclear power plants.

Core Power recently raised $100m in its third funding round, partly by issuing new shares to Japanese companies that are now owners of 22% of the equity.

About 13 Japanese companies put $80m into Core Power, including shipbuilders Onomichi Dockyard and Imabari Shipbuilding. Other participants included some of the best-known shipowners, operators, trading houses and shipping investors.

Core Power argues that floating new-nuclear energy can power the production of vital green fuels, at either end of green corridors and offshore major port areas.

The company also believes that new nuclear-powered large ships with the combination of higher speeds, true zero emissions and safe port calls will bring economic and competitive benefits to stakeholders.

At the core of the company's business model are molten salt reactors that use a liquid fuel with a high boiling point that can operate at normal pressure to generate electricity. These, it claims, are smaller, more efficient, safer and potentially less expensive to build than conventional reactors.

The first experimental reactor, which is now being built at Idaho National Laboratory under a US government scheme, is due in 2026.

The first marine deployment is targeted for 2032.

Nuclear transportation expert

Edwards, who holds a degree in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech and a Masters in business administration from Xavier University, began working in radioactive materials transportation as a lieutenant in the US Navy.

He subsequently worked as a packaging engineer at the Hanford nuclear reservation and then as a project manager on nuclear water treatment systems and on the Yucca Mountain Project.

Other roles he has held include managing transportation and packaging organizations at the US Department of Energy facilities of Fernald, Idaho National Laboratory, and Hanford while working at nuclear conglomerate AREVA, which later became Orano USA.

While at AREVA, Edwards was also seconded to the UK-based World Nuclear Transport Institute for three years as a regulatory and design specialist responsible for radioactive materials transport industry interactions with the International Atomic Energy Agency.