UK Government selects X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear for First Advanced Modular Reactor Award from Future Nuclear Enabling Fund

X-Energy UK Holdings, Ltd (X-energy), a wholly-owned subsidiary of X-Energy Reactor Company, LLC, and Cavendish Nuclear, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Babcock International Group, today welcomed a funding award from the UK Government’s Future Nuclear Enabling Fund (FNEF) to further the development of their plans for Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs) in the UK.

The Government’s award of £3.34 million will be matched by X-energy for a total programme of £6.68 million. The companies will use the funds to develop UK-specific deployment plans including an assessment of domestic manufacturing and supply chain opportunities, constructability, modularisation studies, and fuel management.

X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear also announced a partnership with Kier Group (Kier), a leading UK provider of construction and infrastructure services, to support constructability and supply chain analyses. Kier joins steel producer and engineer Sheffield Forgemasters and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) to support X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear in completing the scope outlined in their FNEF proposal. The companies’ goal is for 80% of the value of the Xe-100 projects to flow to UK firms. Last year X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear signed a memorandum of understanding with Howden, the Glasgow-based gas circulation component manufacturer. They will also work with Nuclear Waste Services to review the approach to spent fuel management.

“We are backing innovation in nuclear – from building large-scale plants better to encouraging new advanced technologies – to achieve our ambition for a quarter of our electricity to come from nuclear power by 2050,” Minister for Nuclear & Renewables Andrew Bowie said. “This funding supports the next step in the development of advanced modular reactors and shows our commitment to keeping the UK at the forefront of nuclear technology.”

“We are delighted to receive this FNEF award from the Government. It reflects the readiness of our advanced technology to contribute to the UK’s energy needs in the next wave of new nuclear,” said Carol Tansley, X-energy’s UK market leader and Vice President of Projects. “Building on X-energy’s initial deployment with Dow on the U.S. Gulf Coast, we can create both jobs and long-term energy security in the UK with clean, reliable advanced nuclear power.”

“As X-energy’s UK deployment partner we’re pleased to welcome this award as a key step forward. A fleet of Xe-100s can complement renewables by providing constant or flexible power and produce steam to decarbonise industry and manufacture hydrogen and synthetic transport fuels,” said Mick Gornall, Managing Director of Cavendish Nuclear. “Deployment in the UK will create thousands of high-quality, long-term jobs across the country.”

The FNEF is intended for potential nuclear projects with mature technologies that could be in a position to take a Final Investment Decision (FID) within the next parliament. It aims to help industry reduce project risks so they are better positioned for future investment decisions.

X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear are proposing to develop a multi-billion pound 12-reactor plant at Hartlepool, to be ready by the early 2030s. The companies plan to build a fleet of up to 40 of the advanced small modular Xe-100 reactors in the UK, creating thousands of high-quality jobs in construction and operations. This would provide 3,200 MW of electricity, enough power for six million homes, or 8,000 MW of versatile high temperature heat and steam to support zero-carbon manufacturing and industrial processes.

The companies plan to engage with the UK nuclear regulators to evaluate approaches to licensing the Xe-100 AMR. The design is already progressing through initial assessments by nuclear regulators in Canada and the United States.