Companies will develop plan for production of fuel forms based on UCO TRISO
X Energy, LLC and Centrus Energy Corp. have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore collaboration toward production of fuel for advanced nuclear reactors, the two companies announced today. X-energy, a pioneering advanced reactor and fuel company, and Centrus, an experienced nuclear fuel technology company, will work toward the development of a fuel fabrication facility. Based on the uranium oxycarbide (UCO) tristructural isotropic (TRISO) fuel form, this facility would provide fuel to X-energy reactors and advanced nuclear reactor companies around the world.
Dr. Kam Ghaffarian, X-energy chief executive officer stated, “X-energy is focused on both our high temperature gas-cooled reactor development and the fuel needed to power our reactors. The Department of Energy has spent close to $400M in developing and qualifying the UCO TRISO particle in preparation for advanced reactor commercialization. X-energy, in partnership with Centrus and taking advantage of its domestic enrichment experience and engineering know-how, is anxious to evaluate how we can together move UCO TRISO into final fuel form production, benefitting many in the industry.”
“X-energy’s innovative reactor design is a potential game-changer for America’s nuclear industry,” said Daniel Poneman, Centrus Energy president and chief executive officer. “Our technical and engineering teams are eager to help X-energy develop TRISO fuel for their reactor. We agree that American leadership in the global nuclear market requires that we develop an end-to-end domestic capability, from high-assay low-enriched uranium enrichment through fuel production, for next-generation reactors.”
Under the MOU, the companies will jointly prepare a deployment plan for X-energy’s TRISO fuel technology; design a cost-effective, highly automated fuel manufacturing process line; and seek funding for a future commercial fuel production facility.
X-energy is an advanced nuclear reactor design and TRISO-based fuel fabrication company. X-energy is developing an innovative nuclear power plant design solution. The Xe-100 is a 200MWt (76MWe) high temperature gas-cooled pebble bed modular reactor that requires less time to construct, uses factory-produced components, cannot melt down, and is “walk-away” safe without operator intervention. In concert with Xe-100 design, X-energy is actively producing TRISO-based fuel forms and will implement pilot scale manufacturing capacities starting in 2018. Reactor and fuel activities are supported by $34M in private investment and a five-year $53M U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Reactor Concept Cooperative Agreement award. Twitter: @xenergynuclear; Facebook: facebook.com/xenergynuclear, www.x-energy.com
About Centrus Energy
Centrus Energy is a trusted supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants in the United States and around the world. With world-class technical and engineering capabilities, Centrus is advancing the next generation of centrifuge technologies so that America can restore its domestic uranium enrichment capability in the future.
Since 1998, the company has provided our utility customers with more than 1,750 reactor years of fuel, which is equivalent to 7 billion tons of coal. We provide value to our utility customers through the reliability and diversity of our supply sources – helping them meet the growing need for clean, affordable, carbon-free electricity.