X-energy and Cavendish handed £3m to assess Hartlepool nuclear reactor

Article by Adam Duckett

Pair want to build 40 reactors in UK to help decarbonise local industry

X-ENERGY and Cavendish Nuclear have been awarded £3.34m (US$4.24m) by the UK government to assess how domestic manufacturing could support the construction of a novel small pebble-bed nuclear reactor. The pair want to build 12 reactors in Hartlepool by the early 2030s to help decarbonise local industry.

The support comes through the Future Nuclear Enabling Fund which will enable companies to mature their technologies ahead of the government selecting which projects will help meet national targets for more nuclear generation.

X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear will match the funding and use the money to assess domestic manufacturing and supply chain opportunities. Kier Group, Sheffield Forgemasters, and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Centre will help X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear complete the assessment. The partners want UK firms to receive 80% of the value of their Xe-100 reactor projects.

Mick Gornall, managing director of Cavendish Nuclear, said: “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.”

The Xe-100 reactor is designed to run on a continuous cycle at temperatures exceeding 750°C. More than 200,000 fuel pebbles are gravity fed through the reactor core (top left). Helium is circulated through this core, transferring the heat to the second reactor (bottom right) where it boils water to produce steam

This article is adapted from an earlier online version.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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