X-energy, the Rockville, Md.–based small modular reactor developer, has announced its plan to open the first Xe-100 reactor fleet management, monitoring, and training facility—the Plant Support Center–East (PCSE)—in the fourth quarter of this year.
The PSCE, located in Frederick, Md., marks the first step in X-energy’s commercial services business and will support the initial deployment of the Xe-100, an 80-MWe high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor that can be scaled into a four-pack 320-MWe power plant, according to a March 7 company release.
The PSCE will support training and operations for the recently announced Xe-100 demo planned for a Dow Gulf Coast industrial site, as well as for owners and operators of the first Xe-100 plants, the release stated. The company also plans to open additional regional centers, which are to become hubs for its operations, maintenance, and training services business.
What they’re saying: “This first center is just the starting point of our advanced nuclear reactor fleet support strategy and a significant part of X-energy’s business growth,” said X-energy chief executive officer J. Clay Sell. “Our customers expect much lower operating and maintenance costs than the large conventional nuclear fleet today, and X-energy is bringing an innovative business model to the market to meet that need. Modernizing and centralizing fleet services will help drive the cost-competitiveness of our Xe-100 technology, as well as establish the potential for a sustainable, long-term business that generates consistent and recurring revenue for X-energy.”
Room with a view: X-energy describes the PSCE’s high-fidelity main control room simulator as its “centerpiece.” According to the release, the simulator “integrates real-time plant instrumentation and control systems with X-energy’s custom 3D virtual reality environment. This innovative technology builds on more than two years of work in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute to develop an innovative ‘digital-twin’ maintenance lab and a U.S.-based, continuous fleet monitoring and diagnostics initiative. X-energy is combining this technology with artificial intelligence and machine learning into a suite of proprietary tools called Xe-100 Data Analytics Tools & Applications, or X-DATA, to improve reliability as well as reduce predictive and preventative maintenance costs for X-energy’s customers.”