Nuclear Fusion Stocks: How To Invest in Nuclear Fusion (Pre-IPO Options)

Nuclear fusion could deliver carbon-free power around the clock, becoming an alternative to weather-dependent wind and solar. Although billions of dollars are pouring into nuclear fusion startups, none of these speculative companies are publicly traded. But that doesn’t mean you can’t invest.

SustainFi   Updated February 17th, 2022

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What is nuclear fusion?

Nuclear fusion is the opposite of the much better known nuclear fission. Nuclear fusion recreates the sun’s energy in a lab setting, delivering carbon-free power that could replace fossil fuels. The process generates energy by fusing or merging atoms.

In contrast, nuclear fission, which powers today’s nuclear power plants, makes energy by splitting atoms. Nuclear fission technology is already commercialized, and you can invest in it. The problems with nuclear fission include toxic waste, risk of spills, and bad public perception.

Nuclear fusion generates little to no radioactive waste while releasing unlimited power from elements like deuterium and tritium, which are types of hydrogen. Toxic waste has been one of the main barriers to nuclear power adoption, so nuclear power without waste or spills would be a major breakthrough. Nuclear fusion releases little radiation, so it can’t be used as a weapon, another major benefit.

Finally, fusion can generate power without carbon emissions or interruptions. It doesn’t depend on weather like wind or solar or on the right location like geothermal or hydroelectric power.

However, while it all sounds very good, scientists have been working on nuclear fusion for decades. The challenge is to produce enough energy to make the process viable commercially. Right now, fusion needs more power than it produces, which is not a viable solution to climate change. While some fusion companies hope to deliver power at scale in the 2030s, that’s still a decade away.

Still, the urgency of fighting climate change is greater now than two decades ago. Billions of dollars are pouring into nuclear fusion startups and government-sponsored projects like JET and ITER. Research dollars could lead to more breakthroughs, eventually helping make the technology viable. For example, in February 2022, European scientists set a new record for generating energy from nuclear fusion, more than doubling the previous record.

Investment in nuclear fusion

Nuclear fusion startups attracted $300 million in 2020, and 2021 was much bigger. Commonwealth Fusion Systems LLC raised over $1.8 billion from high-profile investors like Bill Gates and George Soros, while fusion startups generally raised over $3 billion.

According to research from Bloomberg, the nuclear fusion market could achieve a $40 trillion valuation. Although the technology is not making any money today, generating safe, carbon-free electricity from common elements is a potential game-changer for the planet.

What nuclear fusion companies are there?

There are at least 35 nuclear fusion companies, but the following are getting the most investor dollars and media coverage.

Nuclear fusion company list

  • Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS)
  • TAE Technologies
  • General Fusion (Canada)
  • Helion Energy
  • Tokamak Energy (U.K.)
  • First Light (U.K.)

The Fusion Industry Association has a more comprehensive list, but you can’t invest in most of these companies unless you are an institutional investor.

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Are there any nuclear fusion stocks?

There are no publicly traded nuclear fusion companies, and nuclear fusion startups are unlikely to IPO soon. The market conditions for pre-revenue companies are bad, startups can raise funds from private investors, and revenues may be too far ahead for the public markets. After all, even the startups don’t expect to sell power until the 2030s.

Some traditional energy companies like Eni, Equinor, and Chevron have invested in nuclear fusion, but they are hardly clean energy investments. Their prospects are tied to oil and gas.

But that doesn’t mean there is no way of investing in nuclear fusion.

How to invest in nuclear fusion stocks

The equity in some of the larger nuclear fusion companies is available through pre-IPO trading platforms like EquityZen or Forge (formerly Sharespost). These platforms let you buy shares from startup employees who got stock options but need cash, though you should bear in mind that the employees know more about the company than you do. They could be selling for any reason: maybe they need money to buy a house, or maybe they don’t like where the business is going.

You must also be an accredited investor to invest in pre-IPO shares. Generally, that means you must earn at least $200,000 a year for two years, or your net worth, excluding your primary home, should exceed $1 million. The platforms also have a minimum investment threshold, which is $10,000 for EquityZen and $100,000 for Forge.

Of course, investing in pre-IPO stock in unproven technology is highly risky. Right now, there isn’t a single nuclear fusion power plant. Even if nuclear fusion becomes commercially viable, it’s hard to tell right now which companies will make it work. That is especially true if you’re not a scientist. Having said that, here are some of the nuclear fusion companies you can invest in.

🔔 Learn how to invest in pre-IPO shares.

Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) stock

  • Location: Cambridge, MA
  • Date founded: 2017
  • Amount raised: $2 billion

In late 2021 Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) raised more than $1.8 billion from investors like Bill Gates, George Soros, Italian oil company Eni, and Khosla Ventures.

The company, which was spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2018, seeks to commercialize nuclear fusion. They are collaborating with MIT’s Science and Fusion Center to leverage decades of research.

CFS has already tested the world’s most powerful fusion magnet to hold plasma, a hot gas where nuclear fusion takes place. The next step is building a demonstration power plant, with commercial plants to follow in the 2030s.

Shares are available through EquityZen. Learn more about Commonwealth Fusion Systems here.

General Fusion stock

  • Location: Burnaby, Canada
  • Date founded: 2002
  • Amount raised: $300 million+

Founded in 2002 and based in Canada, Jeff Bezos-backed General Fusion is trying to commercialize nuclear fusion by using a new approach based on Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF). The company is building a U.K. demo facility that should start generating energy around 2025.

Shares are available through EquityZen.

Helion Energy stock

  • Location: Everett, Washington, United States
  • Date founded: 2013
  • Amount raised: $500 million+

Founded in 2013, U.S.-based Helion Energy is developing a nuclear fusion reactor. They’ve raised over $500 million from private investors, including $375 million from Silicon Valley venture capitalist Sam Altman. The company is using the money to build a demo fusion facility near the headquarters in Washington. And Helion has already become the first private startup to heat plasma to 100 million degrees Celsius.

Shares are available through Forge.

TAE Technologies stock

  • Location: Foothill Ranch, California
  • Date founded: 1998
  • Amount raised: $900 million

Founded in 1998 in Orange County, California, TAE Technologies has been around the longest. The nuclear fusion startup has raised over $700 million in funding to date. It is backed by Google, Charles Schwab, and the Kuwait Investment Authority.

Shares are available through Forge.

🔔 Nuclear fusion is not expected to be commercialized until the 2030s, but nuclear fission has been around for a while. You can already invest in traditional nuclear power. Learn how to invest in nuclear stocks or ETFs.

NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE. The content is for informational purposes only; you should not construe any such information as investment advice.

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