US awards $3.5m for new nuclear reactor design

X-energy’s latest project is focusd on cutting costs through underground construction and the use of pooled off-site resources

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded nearly $3.5 million (£2.7m) to X-energy to further the development of its advanced nuclear reactor.

The company is developing a pebble bed, high temperature gas-cooled reactor, with the awarded project focusing specifically on cutting costs through underground construction and the use of pooled off-site resources.

X-energy, located just outside the nation’s capital in Rockville, Maryland, will also explore simplified passive safety systems that don’t rely on large local water sources or pumps to prevent fuel damage.

Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said: “Advanced reactors are taking off in the United States with more than 50 US companies currently developing the technology. 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.”

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