Doosan Heavy, X-Energy partnered with SMR nuclear reactor design study

South Korean energy infrastructure company Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction will partner with US-based X-energy to develop and design tests for advanced gas-cooled high temperature reactors (HTGR).

The move will diversify Doosan Heavy’s work in the small modular reactor space.

SMR nuclear technologies hold promise because of their smaller geographic footprint and potential cost savings over conventional nuclear power projects.

Doosan signed a contract with X-energy in the United States on August 27, 2021 to develop HTGR SMR to provide engineering services for the manufacturing study of large appliances.

Under this contract, Doosan will support the design of SMR by conducting a study for an optimal design that takes manufacturability into account and performing sample tests for critical manufacturing processes.

HTGR’s coolant is helium gas, while the coolant of existing nuclear power plants is water.

X-energy develops Xe-100 with a generation capacity of 320 MWe (80 MWe x 4 modules) using TRISO particle fuel. Process heat of high temperature around 600 ℃ that Xe-100 generates can be used as a heat source for various industries and produce clean hydrogen economically.

“SMR is evolving rapidly in the world energy market because it helps neutralize carbon to address the climate change crisis,” said Na Ki-yong, director of the Nuclear Business Group at Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction.

“By participating in the construction phase of X-energy’s HTGR, Doosan plans to get involved in the manufacture of large appliances. In addition to the ongoing PWR-SMR business, this HTGR-SMR enables us to diversify the SMR business. “

US DOE supports the development and demonstration of HTGR for measuring climate change.

DOE selected X-energy for ARDP1 in October 2020 and provided $ 80 million in initial funding. In total, DOE will invest approximately 1.23 billion US dollars in the X-energy project for this demonstration over a period of seven years.

Last April, Energy Northwest, Grant County Public Utility District and X-energy, LLC signed a letter of intent to form a joint partnership to evaluate, develop and build a commercial Xe-100.

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