X-energy, based in Rockville, Maryland, is developing a pebble bed, high-temperature gas-cooled reactor and the fuel that will power it.
The awarded project will specifically focus on cutting costs through underground construction, the use of pooled off-site resources and simplified passive safety systems that do not rely on large local water sources or pumps to prevent fuel damage. The DOE is funding $3.46m of the $7.2m cost-shared project.
“Advanced reactors are taking off in the US with more than 50 US companies currently developing the technology,” said energy secretary Dan Brouillette. “These private-public partnerships are critical to ensure the success of the next generation of nuclear reactors by making them more affordable to build and operate.”
The DOE has awarded $195m over the last two years through an advanced nuclear technology funding programme. Quarterly application and selection processes are scheduled three times a year over the next three years.
The funding supports first-of-a-kind nuclear demonstration readiness projects, advanced reactor development projects and regulatory assistance.