X-energy has announced it was awarded a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The funding will be used to support development of the Xe-100 reactor, emphasizing development of technologies to significantly reduce the fixed O&M cost to $2/MWh.
"We are grateful for DOE's support of X-energy and so pleased to be working with ARPA-E on this incredibly important effort to create transformational, cost-competitive energy technology," said X-energy CEO Clay Sell. "This will allow us to advance our reactor designs, providing reliable carbon-free baseload power that's available anywhere, at any time."
The Xe-100 uses high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) technology – a Generation-IV reactor technology that is "walk-away safe" and does not require any active cooling systems. That is because X-energy's reactors are powered by TRISO-X fuel pebbles, which have been engineered to completely eliminate the meltdown risk associated with traditional nuclear plants.
Through the GEMINA project, X-energy will develop innovative ways to leverage advanced technologies – including automation, robotics, remote and centralized maintenance, and monitoring – to optimize staffing plans and plant operations. X-energy's Immersive Environment Toolset is a multi-disciplinary 3D model that, when combined with virtual reality, will test techniques that enhance maintenance and security.
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