X-energy selects constructors of initial Xe-100 reactors :

25 July 2022

Following a year-long process, X-energy has selected Zachry Group and the combined team of Burns & McDonnell and Day & Zimmermann as constructors to collaborate and work with the company on the next phases of design and deployment of its Xe-100 advanced reactor fleet in the USA.

The Xe-100 is a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor, being deployed by X-energy under the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program. It is designed to generate zero-carbon industrial process heat and electricity across numerous sectors of the economy with each reactor unit producing 80 MWe. There can be up to 12 reactor units at a single site, generating nearly 1 GWe of power. The reactor can provide clean, reliable and safe baseload power to an electricity system or support industrial applications with 200 MW thermal output per unit.

“Previous new nuclear projects have utilised standard methods of contracting for construction services, with owners often engaging constructors after or in the late stages of project development,” X-energy noted. “Under the X-energy Project Delivery Model (X-PDM), constructors and suppliers work alongside X-energy in all phases of design, equipment supply, fabrication, and construction to develop detailed project costs, project schedules, advanced work plans and four-dimensional modeling prior to the start of safety-related construction.”

The company said that this collaborative approach aims to reduce risk and uncertainty as early as possible.

X-energy said it selected the construction companies because of their “demonstrated commitment to the X-PDM, their use of advanced construction technology, their deep experience in delivering large, complex projects, and willingness to work together and combine their expertise with X-energy to create a fleet of Xe-100 advanced reactors.”

“Selecting and partnering with our constructors this early in the development process is a paradigm shift for the entire nuclear energy industry,” said X-energy CEO Clay Sell. “We will collaborate and work side-by-side with these firms to ensure the successful design and delivery of the first and subsequent Xe-100 deployments. This is one of the ways X-energy is leading the new age of nuclear energy, enabling us to deploy safely, with a more cost-effective delivery model for the benefit of our customers.”

“Advanced nuclear must be part of our future energy solutions as we decarbonise as a society,” added Burns & McDonnell CEO Ray Kowalik. “The cost of nuclear needs to be competitive in the market and predictable. Bringing advanced construction planning into the development process is the right approach to accomplish the safety, price, schedule and quality needed for this technology.”

“Supporting the design, development and construction of the Xe-100 fleet is a critical step in decarbonisation efforts. We look forward to collaborating and bringing our technology, analysis, engineering and construction capabilities to these next generation, world-class facilities,” said Zachry Group Chairman & CEO John Zachry.

Day & Zimmermann Chairman and CEO Hal Yoh said: “In our company’s 120-year history, we have been part of some innovative, groundbreaking projects, but this is one of the most exciting.”

Researched and written by World Nuclear News