Ontario Power Generation and X-energy signed an agreement to look at opportunities to deploy Xe-100 small modular reactors (SMRs) for industrial applications in Canada.

The Xe-100 is a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor that is designed to combine high-temperature steam and power production. The two said the reactor can support heavy industry including oil sands operations, mining applications, and other industrial processes.

One unit can generate up to 80 MW of electricity from 200 MW of thermal power, and can produce steam at 565 Celsius. The partners said it offers flexible co-generation options.

A press release said that Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) SMR Action plan shows an estimated global value of C$150 billion ($115.4 billion) per year by 2040 by replacing coal-fired generation; by providing heat and power for mines; by providing steam for heavy industry; and for remote island nations and off-grid communities.

Last November, OPG said it would work with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to deploy a BWRX-300 SMR at the Darlington new nuclear site, the only site in Canada currently licensed for a new nuclear construction, to be completed by the end of the decade.   

In 2020 the U.S. Department of Energy named X-energy as an awardee for its Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP), which provides initial funding to build two advanced nuclear reactors that can be operational before the end of the decade. 

The Xe-100 is an 80 MWe (scalable to a 320 MWe four-pack) high temperature gas-cooled reactor. It uses TRi-structural ISOtropic particle fuel (TRISO), manufactured by Rockville, Maryland-based X-energy, that can integrate into large, regional electricity systems as a base and load-following source of low-carbon power. 

Earlier this year, TRISO-X LLC, a unit of X-energy, chose a site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee for its commercial advanced nuclear reactor fuel fabrication facility, one of the nation’s first High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) based fuel fabrication facilities.

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