Chemical firm will install reactors at US chemicals complex
DOW will install advanced nuclear reactors at one of its Gulf Coast sites to provide low carbon power and process heat for its chemicals production.
Dow signed a letter of intent with reactor developer X-energy, and plans to buy a minority stake in the company. The plan is to deploy X-energy’s Xe-100 high-temperature gas-cooled reactor technology at one of Dow’s Gulf Coast complexes, with operations expected to begin by 2030.
“Advanced small modular nuclear technology is going to be a critical tool for Dow’s path to zero-carbon emissions,” said Dow CEO Jim Fitterling. “This is a great opportunity for Dow to lead our industry in carbon neutral manufacturing by deploying next-generation nuclear energy.”
The Xe-100 is an 80 MWe reactor design that is optimised to operate as a four-unit plant, delivering 320 MW of electric or 200 MW of heat. The pebble-bed reactor works like a gum-ball machine where new fuel pebbles the size of billiard balls are fed into the top of the reactor to refresh the older ones ejected from the bottom. Each pebble remains in the core for around three years and circulated through up to six times to achieve full burnup. Helium is cycled through the reactor to extract the heat into a steam generator.
This article is adapted from an earlier online version.
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