The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded nearly $3.5 million to X-energy today to further the development of its advanced nuclear reactor. The project will examine ways to reduce construction and maintenance costs of the developer’s Xe-100 reactor design.
X-energy, located just outside the nation’s capital in Rockville, Maryland, is developing a pebble bed, high-temperature gas-cooled reactor. The awarded project will specifically focus on cutting costs through underground construction, the use of pooled off-site resources and simplified passive safety systems that don’t rely on large local water sources or pumps to prevent fuel damage. DOE is funding $3,468,323 of the $7,127,814 cost-shared project.
“Advanced reactors are taking off in the United States with more than 50 U.S. companies currently developing the technology,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “These private-public partnerships are critical to ensure the success of the next generation of nuclear reactors by making them more affordable to build and operate.”
DOE has awarded $195 million over the last two years through its U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development funding opportunity. Subsequent quarterly application review and selection processes will be conducted three times per year over the next three years.
The solicitation is broken down into three funding pathways to support first-of-a-kind nuclear demonstration readiness projects, advanced reactor development projects, and regulatory assistance.