Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of two U.S.-based teams to receive $160 million in initial funding under the Advanced Reactor Development Program (ADRP).
DOE is awarding TerraPower, LLC (Bellevue, WA) and X-energy (Rockville, MD) $80 million each in initial funding to build two advanced nuclear reactors that can be operational within seven years. The awards are cost-shared partnerships with the industry that will deliver two first-of-a-kind advanced reactors to be licensed for commercial operations. DOE will invest a total of $3.2 billion over seven years, subject to the availability of future appropriations, with industry partners providing matching funds.
Specifically, TerraPower will demonstrate the Natrium reactor, a sodium‐cooled fast reactor that leverages decades of development and design undertaken by TerraPower and its partner, GE‐Hitachi. X-energy will deliver a commercial four-unit nuclear power plant based on its Xe-100 reactor design. The Xe-100 is a high temperature gas-cooled reactor that is ideally suited to provide flexible electricity output as well as process heat for a wide range of industrial heat applications, such as desalination and hydrogen production.
Both projects incorporate a range of design features that will not only enhance safety, but make them affordable to construct and operate, paving the way for the United States to deploy highly competitive advanced reactors domestically and globally.
“DOE and U.S. industry are extremely well-equipped to develop and demonstrate nuclear reactors with the requisite sense of urgency, which is important not only to our economy, but to our environment, because nuclear energy is clean energy,” said Dr. Rita Baranwal, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy.