Canadian uranium producer Cameco and U.S. fuel and plant engineering firm X-energy announced they have entered a non-binding and non-exclusive Memorandum of Understanding to explore possible areas of cooperation to support the potential future deployment, fueling and servicing of Xe-100 small modular reactors. The aim is to support Xe-100 development in the United States and Canada, the companies said in a joint statement.
Cameco is one of the largest global suppliers of uranium and a leader in uranium mining, refining, conversion and fuel manufacturing services.
“Cameco is a cornerstone of the Canadian nuclear industry and has a global reach,” said Pete Pappano, President of TRISO-X, X-energy’s fuel fabrication subsidiary. “As X-energy works to bring the world’s first commercial advanced reactor to market in North America, we look forward to building a fruitful partnership that could provide a steady fuel supply for our technology in North America and support its deployment around the world.”
The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded X-energy, under a prime contract, approximately $1.23 billion under the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) to license, site, build and operate a commercial-scale advanced nuclear power plant based on the Xe-100 design with Energy Northwest by 2027, and to establish the commercial-scale TRISO-X Fuel Fabrication Facility. The Xe-100 four-pack reactor plant is slated for operation in 2027.
In October 2020, Ontario Power Generation Inc. identified the Xe-100 as a potential technology for the Darlington New Nuclear Project, which which aims to have an SMR in operation as early as 2028. X energy says it is currently advancing the Xe-100 design and engineering work with the utility.
An economic assessment done by Hatch Ltd. for X-energy found the construction of a TRISO-X Fuel Fabrication Facility in Canada would generate more than $310 million (CDN) in economic impact.
“At X-energy Canada, we’re partnering with the Canadian nuclear industry to create an SMR ecosystem that will grow with the developing large-scale deployment of our Xe-100 design – the ideal technology to advance Canada’s net-zero goals,” said Katherine Moshonas Cole, President, X-energy Canada. “We’re thrilled about the potential of this collaboration with Cameco, because it could increase the value of Canadian uranium to our domestic industry and create future export prospects.”
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More tax dollars going out the window to technology no one needs. Elaborate named companies love to suck up DOE dollars to work on projects no one will ever order. Beautiful.