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Dow Seadrift location selected for X-energy advanced SMR nuclear project

Dow and X-Energy Reactor Company, a developer of advanced nuclear reactors and fuel technology for clean energy generation, announced that Dow has selected its UCC Seadrift Operations manufacturing site in Texas for its proposed advanced small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear project. The project is focused on providing the Seadrift site with safe, reliable, zero carbon emissions power and steam as existing energy and steam assets near their end-of-life.

Dow and X-energy previously announced their entry into a joint development agreement (JDA) to install an advanced SMR nuclear plant at an industrial site in North America. (Earlier post.)

The US Department of Energy (DOE) named Dow a sub-awardee under X-energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) Cooperative Agreement. The JDA provides for up to $50 million in engineering work, up to half of which is eligible to be funded through ARDP, and the other half by Dow.

The project is expected to reduce the Seadrift site's emissions by approximately 440,000 MT CO2e/year. Dow and X-energy will now prepare and submit a Construction Permit application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), an important milestone to bringing the project to fruition. Construction on the four-reactor project is expected to begin in 2026 and to be completed by the end of this decade.

X-energy will deliver our innovative technology to the Texas Gulf Coast to efficiently and reliably decarbonize the Seadrift Site’s heat and power assets. We will showcase the unique versatility and wide range of applications of the Xe-100 advanced small modular nuclear reactor for energy production and manufacturing. This project will serve as a model for how we can decarbonize processes to create the products relied upon by people all over the world.

—Clay Sell, X-energy CEO


X-energy Xe-100 SMR is an 80 MWe, 200 MWth reactor that can be scaled into a ‘four-pack’ 320 MWe power plant. X-energy’s nuclear reactor designs are based on High-Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) technology—a Generation-IV reactor technology.

Dow’s Seadrift site covers 4,700 acres and manufactures more than 4 million pounds of materials per year used across a wide variety of applications including food packaging and preservation, footwear, wire and cable insulation, solar cell membranes, and packaging for medical and pharmaceutical products.

X-energy was selected by the DOE in 2020 to develop, license, build, and demonstrate an operational advanced reactor and fuel fabrication facility by the end of the decade. Since that award, X-energy has completed the engineering and basic design of the nuclear reactor, has begun development and licensing of a fuel fabrication facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and is now working with Dow to prepare applications to the NRC for Construction Permits at the Seadrift site.



More good news on the nuclear power front. It is especially good that it is a high temperature fast reactor and that it will be used for both process heat and electricity. This design would be especially good for hydrogen production.

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