Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants the state to become a “national leader on advanced nuclear energy.”

Abbott issued a directive to the Public Utilities Commission of Texas Aug. 16 to formulate a working group that would study and provide recommendations on the issue. This includes coordinating with ERCOT to begin addressing the technical challenges of incorporating advanced nuclear technology into the state’s grid.

The working group would also consider all potential financial incentives available, determine nuclear-specific changes needed in the ERCOT market, identify any federal or state regulatory hurdles to development and analyze how Texas can streamline and accelerate permitting for building new reactors.

Abbott issued the directive while highlighting the role of nuclear energy during a discussion with Dow and X-Energy at the University of Texas at Austin.

In May Dow announced its UCC1 Seadrift Operations manufacturing site in Texas as the location of an X-Energy small modular reactor (SMR) project.

X-energy’s Xe-100 SMR is a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor. The company said its SMR can address a broad range of uses, including applications that currently rely on fossil fuels to produce steam and heat for processes like manufacturing, petroleum refining and hydrogen production.

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