U.K. nuclear funding awarded to X-energy, Cavendish

April 5, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News

X-energy UK Holdings and Cavendish Nuclear together received a government award of £3.34 million ($4.23 million) for further development of advanced modular reactors. The award, which was announced earlier this week, is from the U.K. government’s Future Nuclear Enabling Fund.

Advanced reactors the focus of upcoming ANS online event

March 27, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News

The American Nuclear Society is hosting an online event on Thursday, March 28, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on advanced reactors. The latest technological developments will be discussed by representatives from BWX Technology, Kairos Power, Oklo, and X-energy.

The event is open to all, but registration is required.

X-energy’s helium coolant and fuel handling test facility gets EA/FONSI

March 11, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News
Concept art of the planned X-energy helium test facility. (Image: DOE OCED)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations issued a final environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact in February for a cost-shared X-energy project to construct and operate a helium test facility (HTF) in Oak Ridge, Tenn. According to the EA, construction would begin in early 2024 and take X-energy and its contracted partner, Kinectrics, about one year to complete. the facility would then operate for six years, with the possibility of extensions for up to an additional 20 years, to test equipment for a demonstration of X-energy’s high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor technology and also to “serve the reactor community at large as the technology continues to develop and is adopted around the world.”

2024: The State of Advanced Reactors

January 19, 2024, 3:07PMNuclear NewsMatt Wald

Designs for high-tech products, and the start-ups that offer them, will always outnumber the commercial successes. Ditto: many more power plants are proposed than actually get built, no matter what the technology.

This is an axiom of free-market economies, but in early November 2023 it became painfully obvious in the advanced reactor field. NuScale Power, the only advanced reactor that has made it through the licensing gauntlet, acknowledged that the consortium of utilities that was its intended launch customer had failed to put together a feasible package.

2023 in Review: January–March

January 10, 2024, 9:32AMNuclear News

Another calendar year has passed. Before heading too far into 2024, let’s look back at what happened in 2023 in the nuclear community. In today's post, compiled from Nuclear News and Nuclear Newswire are what we feel are the top nuclear news stories from January through March 2023.

Stay tuned for the top stories from the rest of the past year.

Reviewing the top nuclear headlines from 2023

January 7, 2024, 10:10AMNuclear News

The new year is here, and so it is time for the Nuclear News review of 2023's top stories. The recap will appear in the January issue of the magazine, on its way to American Nuclear Society members right now. In the meantime, all ANS members can read the year's issues in the ANS member center, and also review some of the most-read stories from Nuclear Newswire below. Here’s to a Happy New Year!

X-energy, Ares call off merger plan

November 3, 2023, 9:31AMNuclear News

X-energy, the Rockville, Md.–based small modular reactor/nuclear fuel developer, and Ares Acquisition Corporation (AAC), a publicly traded special-purpose acquisition company, have agreed to terminate their business combination agreement, effective immediately, the companies announced this week.

X-energy’s mobile microreactor gets support from DOE

October 30, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News

X-energy and the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy have reached a cooperative agreement valued at $2.5 million to continue the development of X-energy’s mobile microreactor design, the company announced October 25. The agreement, which extends through 2024, supports X-energy’s work on architecture and key technologies for the preliminary design of a commercial transportable power plant expected to produce 3–5 MWe.

Texas kicks off effort to make state a leader in new nuclear

October 3, 2023, 12:04PMNuclear News
PUCT commissioner Jimmy Glotfelty leads the discussion at the Texas Advanced Nuclear Reactor Working Group’s first public meeting, on September 28. (Image: PUCT)

The Texas Advanced Nuclear Reactor Working Group—formed recently by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) at the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott—hosted its first public meeting last Thursday to discuss the group’s organizational structure and outline a plan to turn Texas into a national leader in the use of advanced nuclear energy.

Bringing nuclear history forward

September 21, 2023, 7:02AMNuclear NewsJeremy Hampshire

This year’s American Nuclear Society Annual Meeting was filled with great content, some of which was covered in the August issue of Nuclear News (beginning on p. 22). One of the meeting’s executive sessions, “Bringing Nuclear History Forward,” focused on advanced reactor (AR) history and was well attended. The United States—along with many countries around the world—is turning to nuclear to combat climate change. Part of this is funding new and innovative companies to create first-of-a-kind nuclear reactors to provide abundant and clean power. Looking at the current designs of interest to the community brings up interesting comparisons to the test and experimental reactors of the past. Test reactors like the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II), the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF), Peach Bottom, Fort St. Vrain, Germany’s AVR, and others now are more important than ever in providing insight, data, and operational lessons learned to develop the next generation of reactors.

Project Pele will “nurture” a second microreactor: X-energy’s Xe-Mobile

September 14, 2023, 3:06PMNuclear News

The Department of Defense announced on September 13 that it has awarded a contract option to X-energy for the “enhanced engineering design” of a microreactor that could serve as the transportable power source envisioned by the Strategic Capabilities Office’s (SCO) Project Pele. The DOD expects the award for one year of work to “allow a thorough analysis of design options,” resulting in a preliminary engineering design and “initiation of a regulatory preapplication process.”

Texas governor touts nuclear at UT fireside chat

August 23, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (right) talks nuclear energy at UT-Austin on August 16. With Abbott are X-energy chief executive officer Clay Sell (left) and Dow chair and CEO Jim Fitterling. (Photo: Office of the Texas Governor)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sat down with X-energy chief executive officer Clay Sell and Dow chair and CEO Jim Fitterling last week for a “fireside chat” at the University of Texas–Austin on the role of nuclear energy and technology in the state.

X-energy, Energy Northwest team for multiple SMR deployments

July 20, 2023, 9:43AMNuclear News

Small modular reactor firm X-energy and Energy Northwest, owner and operator of the Columbia nuclear power plant in Richland, Wash., announced yesterday the signing of a joint development agreement (JDA) for up to 12 Xe-100 SMRs in central Washington, capable of generating up to a total of 960 MWe.

The JDA defines and details the scope, location, and schedule under which the commercial development of the project will move forward, the companies said, adding that they will also work together to determine the best approaches to licensing and regulatory matters, as well as the project delivery model. Currently, the Xe-100 project is expected to be developed at a site adjacent to the Columbia facility, with the first module coming on line by 2030.

More BWRX-300 units to be deployed at Darlington

July 10, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Ontario energy minister Todd Smith (left) and Ontario Power Generation president and CEO Ken Hartwick announce plans for three more BWRX-300 units at Darlington. (Photo: OPG)

If we’re in a new nuclear renaissance, its capital would appear to be Ontario. On July 7, just two days after debuting a collaboration with Bruce Power to build up to 4.8 GW of new nuclear generation at the Bruce plant, the government of Ontario announced that it is working with Ontario Power Generation to begin planning and licensing for the deployment of three additional GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) BWRX-300 small modular reactors at that utility’s Darlington site.

Site for Dow, X-energy SMR project selected

May 15, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
A digital rendering of the Dow/X-energy Xe-100 plant in Texas. (Image: X-energy)

Dow and X-energy have announced the location of their Xe-100 small modular reactor deployment project: Dow’s UCC Seadrift Operations manufacturing site in Texas. According to a May 11 joint news release, the SMR plant will provide the Seadrift site with power and heat as the site’s existing energy and steam assets near the end of their operational lives.

KAERI, Alberta to consider SMRs for province

April 21, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Joo Han-Gyu, KAERI president, on teleconference with Albertan ministers Brian Jean and Rajan Sawhney during the signing of the MOU. (Photo: KAERI)

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) and the government of Alberta have agreed on a comprehensive cooperation framework to explore the viability of using small modular reactors to help decarbonize the province—Canada’s biggest energy producer and its biggest polluter. The announcement comes the same week that Alberta’s United Conservative Party government released a climate plan aimed at reaching net zero by 2050.

First Xe-100 plant support center to open this year

March 13, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

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.