A Groundbreaking Nuclear Reactor is Coming to the Tri-Cities
Energy Northwest announced on Wednesday that a joint development agreement has been signed with X-Energy Reactor Company, LLC (a leading developer of advanced small modular nuclear reactors and fuel technology for clean energy generation), for up to 12 Xe-100 advanced small modular reactors in central Washington. These small reactors are capable of generating up to a total of 960 megawatts of carbon-free electricity.
Energy Northwest expects to bring the first Xe-100 module online by 2030.
Under the joint development agreement, the Xe-100 project is expected to be developed at a site controlled by Energy Northwest adjacent to Columbia Generating Station. These plans have been in the works since early 2020. The companies will also work together to determine the best approaches to licensing and regulatory matters, as well as the project delivery model.
According to Bob Scheutz, CEO of Energy Northwest, “Energy Northwest’s mission is to provide the region with clean, reliable and affordable electricity, and X-energy’s innovative advanced reactor technology will be a valuable addition to our existing portfolio of carbon-free electric generating resources.” He adds, “As the Northwest region of the United States pursues a future clean energy grid, it is clear it will need new sources of dependable, carbon-free power. X-energy’s Xe-100 advanced reactor technology possesses many attributes ideally suited to a carbon-constrained electric system, and this agreement reflects our determination to deliver the technologies to meet growing clean energy needs.”
The Xe-100 high-temperature gas-cooled reactor technology can power a broad range of applications through its high-temperature steam output that can address the needs of large regional electricity providers as well as industrial manufacturing systems. According to X-Energy, each Xe-100 module can provide 80 megawatts of full-time electricity or 200 megawatts of high-temperature steam. The picture below is an image of the proprietary fuel used in the Xe-100.
U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse has championed the project, saying, “It is exciting to see Energy Northwest and X-energy keep Central Washington at the forefront of energy innovation in this country while delivering on the growing need for clean energy technologies. Advanced nuclear technology is bringing next-generation development to the marketplace, strengthening our nation's energy security and providing economic security for businesses in the Tri-Cities and beyond. I look forward to seeing the great benefits this project will bring to our communities and our nation.”
According to the X-Energy website: X-Energy Reactor Company, LLC, is a leading developer of advanced small modular nuclear reactors and fuel technology for clean energy generation that is redefining the nuclear energy industry through its development of safer and more efficient reactors and proprietary fuel to deliver reliable, zero-carbon and affordable energy to people around the world.