X-energy teams with Canada’s First Nations to aid Indigenous communities

December 21, 2021, 7:00AMNuclear News

X-energy, the Rockville, Md.–based developer of the Xe-100 small modular reactor, announced on December 15 that X-energy Canada has signed a memorandum of understanding with the First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) to look for ways to build “Indigenous capacity” for the future SMR industry in Canada.

FNPA, headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is described on its website as “the only North American nonprofit Indigenous-owned and -controlled organization developing power projects with Indigenous communities.”

Potential collaborative activities under the MOU include the development of skills training, employment, and commercial opportunities capable of spurring multigenerational Indigenous economic wealth, according to the announcement.

The official words: “I cannot overstate the importance we place on including Indigenous peoples and businesses in our efforts here in Canada,” said Katherine Moshonas Cole, president of X-energy Canada. “Our Xe-100 SMR generates more than just clean electricity—it generates significant economic opportunities for Canadians. Combined with our proposed fuel fabrication facility, our technology will also be a catalyst for numerous ancillary economic benefits.”

FNPA’s chief executive officer, Guy Lonechild, said, “FNPA is committed to ensuring there is an Indigenous voice in the development considerations and eventual deployment of SMR technologies. . . . As the original climatologists from Turtle Island, First Nations can see the lasting benefits that SMRs can make in striving for a net-zero energy future.”

In case you missed it: Last month, X-energy and Centrus Energy announced the completion of the preliminary design for X-energy’s TRISO-X Fuel Fabrication Facility, as well as the signing of a contract for Centrus to continue its work as the project enters its next phase.

The facility is being designed to support the deployment of the XE-100, a high-temperature gas-cooled pebble-bed reactor capable of producing 320 MWe in its standard four-module configuration. The first Xe-100 is to be built near Richland, Wash., through a cost-shared award from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program.

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