Dr. Ghaffarian noted the benefits of the Xe-100 reactor series:
- Small: Fits inside approximately 13 acres.
- Meltdown proof: Fundamental to the reactor and fuel designs is a reactor core that is meltdown proof. The reactor will automatically shut down if cooling is stopped and has successive, independent radionuclide barriers. This has been demonstrated several times in live experiments at the AVR, Germany and the HTR-10, China.
- Clean: Zero-emission operation reduces base carbon footprint.
- Affordable: Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) and overnight costs are attractive when compared to conventional nuclear.
- Reliable: Availability rate over 95% compared to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates for hydro (39.9%), wind (25.5%), and solar (15.5%).
- Flexible: Operates in locations with limited water or without sunshine or wind.
- Scalable: Additional reactors can be added to meet expanding site power requirements.
- Secure, Resilient: Designed to protect against natural events, physical assaults and cyberattacks. Both plant architecture and fuel designs are proliferation resistant.
- Load following capabilities: Can replace and supplement other fuel sources (coal, wind, solar) to leverage existing transmission and distribution infrastructure. The Xe-100 has the ability to perform rapid load following in real time within the power range of 100-25-100%.
- High-temperature steam: Xe-100 series can support large-scale industrial projects (such as oil refining) that require steam temperatures beyond the capabilities of conventional nuclear.
Department of Energy (DOE) Cooperative Agreement
"On July 5, we officially signed our DOE cooperative agreement. This partnership allows us to continue our focus on areas that work towards our goal of commercialization," said Dr. Ghaffarian. "We are thrilled to be part of the DOE team mutually moving forward with advanced nuclear reactors."
X-energy's 5-year, $53M DOE Advanced Reactor Concept Cooperative Agreement will focus on: furtherance of reactor design; fuel development; and initial licensing activities.
"I am convinced that advanced reactors will become the backbone of our energy mix as we move through this century and develop clean carbon-free energy," Ghaffarian told conference attendees. "President Kennedy once said that we are in a space race and my work with NASA reflects the progress he had hoped for. Today, I believe we are in an energy race. Providing clean energy across the world is my vision for X-energy and I believe that clean, safe, reliable nuclear energy is necessary to making this possible."
About X-energy: X-energy is dedicated to developing transformational nuclear energy solutions that change the world. The company is designing the Xe-100 series, an advanced nuclear reactor that will expand nuclear power into new markets in increments of approximately 50MWe. The Xe-100 series is designed to be small, simple and affordable. Key attributes of the design are that it requires less time to construct, with factory-produced components, and will be "walk-away" safe without operator intervention during loss of coolant conditions. X-energy is based in Greenbelt, Maryland. Website: www.x-energy.com, Twitter: @xenergynuclear
Melanie White Lyons
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