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X-energy, LLC

ARC Nuclear Canada Inc.
  • Endorsement date: December 18, 2020
  • Organization: X-energy, LLC

Overview

X-energy is a Rockville, Maryland-based company employing global tech experts, scientists, researchers and engineers with deep experience in High Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGRs) and in the TRISO fuel that powers them. X-energy recently established Xe-100 Canada recognizing that Canada’s nuclear expertise, track record, and respected international reputation makes it an ideal environment to launch a successful domestic and export SMR industry. Xe-100 Canada will partner and engage with the Canadian nuclear industry to complete and deploy the Xe-100, including engineering, safety, licensing, component supply and construction in Canada and globally.  

X-energy’s mission is to change the world through innovative and implementable energy solutions. X-energy is working to be the world’s leader in development of High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors and the fuel to supply to those reactors. We believe we can leave a cleaner planet for our children and grandchildren, while continuing to provide sufficient and affordable power to sustain growing populations around the world.

This vision is aligned with Canada’s clean energy goals. X-energy’s technology would be a catalyst to position Canada as a leader in Generation IV SMRs, helping the world transition to a low-carbon future that allows emerging economies to prosper.

X-energy’s investment in Canada to date reflects its commitment to the Canadian Roadmap Statement of Principles. X-energy is partnering with the Canadian nuclear industry and will engage with the breadth of Canadian stakeholders. We recognize the importance and value of early and meaningful Indigenous and near-site community engagement.

Canada’s goal for leadership, coupled with: (1) the innovation and expertise of Canadians; (2) a respected and progressive regulator; and, (3) knowledgeable Indigenous and host communities, who have helped build the nuclear industry in Canada today, are a perfect complement with X-energy’s business philosophy.

Central to these goals are X-energy’s two reactor designs, the Xe-100, a 75MWe SMR, which can be offered as a four-unit plant with 300 MWe, and Xe-Mobile, a 1-5 MWe mobile VSMR. Both use X-energy’s proprietary advanced fuel, TRISO-X. These are all innovative designs based on proven technology that simplify operation, enhance safety and create flexible, carbon-free, multi-purpose energy solutions for communities or project sites of any size.

X-energy has already formed partnerships with some of Canada’s pre-eminent nuclear suppliers for engineering, licensing and other preparatory work. In July 2020, X-energy, supported by Kinectrics, Inc, made its first submission to the CNSC in support of the Xe-100 combined Phase 1&2 Vendor Design Review (VDR).

Xe-100 Canada, Inc. was established to be the base of operations for Canada’s X-energy activities and to focus on the near-term siting of the first Xe-100 reactor in Canada. With the possibility of siting reactors in Canada, Xe-100 Canada is building relationships and strategic partnerships to complete the Xe-100 design with a view to also supply high-value systems and components globally and domestically. X-energy envisions building multiple reactors across Canada and a fuel fabrication facility to supply the high quality TRISO-X fuel to the Canadian market.

The Xe-100 plants are flexible, safe and scalable to meet Canada’s clean energy goals. They perform as the lynchpin of a clean and integrated energy system, enabling renewables that are low-carbon but intermittent, or as an all-in-one solution for self-sufficiency in remote communities including district heating and water desalination. As well, the Xe-100’s high temperature steam is an ideal clean-energy source for hydrogen production, mining and co-generation opportunities.

In summary, X-energy’s world-class design combined with Canada’s long history of nuclear leadership is an ideal combination to build clean energy solutions across Canada and the world. X-energy is rapidly establishing roots in Canada by:

  • working with government, industry and utilities;
  • building strategic partnerships with Canadian companies committed to excellence;
  • planning for meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities and stakeholders with an interest in its projects;
  • actively participating in the Canadian nuclear industry through the Canadian Nuclear Association (CAN), Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI) and the CANDU Owners Group (COG); and
  • expediting licensing activities with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The X-energy technology is a catalyst for development of a world-leading Canadian SMR program that will meet the clean energy needs of people across Canada and the world. This clean energy solution could be working for communities across Canada within the next seven years.

Actions

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Engagement with the regulator
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
XE01

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 44

ACTION

X-energy initiated discussions with the CNSC in the fall of 2019 and established a Service Agreement and Project Execution Plan for the Xe-100 combined Phase 1&2 VDR in 2020. X-energy submitted an extensive Package 1 with documents for six (6) Focus Areas in July 2020.

During earlier design phases, X-energy submitted white papers to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on specific issues such as Functional Containment, Defence in Depth and Mechanistic Source Term, among others. X-energy has provided positive indications to both the CNSC and US NRC to initiate combined discussions for common regulatory areas of interest.

EXPECTED RESULTS

By engaging with the CNSC at the earliest possible time, and entering the CNSC’s optional VDR process, X-energy will receive valuable early feedback that can further strengthen the design, strengthen public confidence in X-energy designs and the SMR technology, and de-risk future licensing applications.

By initiating discussions with another credible regulator, and encouraging dialogue, the possibility for some level of harmonization is furthered, strengthening the potential for SMR technology to play a meaningful role in a clean energy future.

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Engagement with NWMO on fuel waste management specifications and costs
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
XE02

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 45

ACTION

X-energy initiated informal discussions with the NWMO in April 2020 and has since established a formal non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for more comprehensive sharing of information and engagement. X-energy anticipates an appropriate arrangement for detailed technical discussions and collaboration.

X-energy is designed to use TRISO-X fuel, which utilizes HALEU at 15.5%, a fuel that is different from the majority of the fuel currently considered by NWMO. It is clear to X-energy that there is a crucial need for:

  1. technical assessment to eliminate issues related to viability of placement in Adaptive Phase Management (APM)
  2. engagement with relevant stakeholders and Indigenous communities

EXPECTED RESULTS

It is anticipated that the conversation with NWMO will both inform the NWMO on the particular waste form and provide further guidance to X-energy on the management of its spent fuel. It is expected that an acceptable technical solution will be developed respecting the NWMO’s requirements

As compared to the majority of the fuel to be emplaced in the APM, the spent TRISO fuel is expected to have a lower technical risk and lower proliferation risk due to characterization of the used fuel and the structure of the particles and the pebbles, which inherently contain the fuel

X-energy expects to collaborate with NWMO on engagement with any stakeholder or interested party, including Indigenous groups

The results of the technical assessments and the communications cannot be known prior to genuine engagement between X-energy, NWMO and the communities. As with the regulator, we expect to receive valuable feedback to improve our programme and our design

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Strategic partnerships and business models (Utilities)
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
XE03

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 46

ACTION

X-energy has initiated discussions with interested Canadian utilities, and specifically the group of utilities who have signed the MOU to collaborate on SMRs, with a view to successfully site a four-unit Xe-100 plant in Ontario, consistent with Stream One of the SMR Roadmap.

X-energy has had informal discussions with interested Canadian utilities with a view towards future opportunities to deploy a fleet of Xe-100’s as desired by other provinces.

X-energy has informally engaged with interested Canadian utilities to establish a TRISO-X fuel fabrication facility in Canada, to supply fuel to the Canadian Xe-100 facilities.

EXPECTED RESULTS

X-energy is positioning to build its first 4-unit Xe-100 plant by 2028 in Ontario.

X-energy intends to establish the necessary relationships and mutual plans with utilities in other provinces to enable the deployment of a fleet of Xe-100 units as well as a TRISO-X fuel fabrication facility.

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Building a Canadian SMR value chain (Industry Partners)
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
XE04

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 47

ACTION

X-energy has identified strategic partnerships with exceptional Canadian businesses that share X-energy’s values, ethical standards and obsession for quality. These outstanding Canadian firms, such as Hatch Ltd. and Kinectrics Inc., are integral to the design completion and build of the Xe-100.

X-energy has also reached out to the Canadian nuclear community by joining and working closely with the Canadian industry associations. X-energy is a member of the CNA, OCNI and is an active member of the COG Vendor Participant Program (VPP). These associations are critical as X-energy works with Canada’s nuclear supply chain to build a national SMR program recognized for its leadership worldwide.

Through participation and sponsorship at Canadian industry conferences, X-energy has established close relationships with many leading Canadian corporations.  To reach a broader group of suppliers, X-energy held an Xe-100 Supplier Webinar with hosting support from OCNI in May 2020.

EXPECTED RESULTS

X-energy is positioning to build its first four-unit Xe-100 plant by 2028 in Canada with a strong team of Canadian nuclear industry companies.

X-energy has identified successful and like-minded Canadian corporations with the expertise and knowledge to take the Xe-100 from its current advanced design through detailed design and to deployment.

Canadian corporations will be the core of a world-class SMR industry as they develop the expertise to deliver the engineering, supply the components and perform the construction for a fleet of Xe-100’s in Canada and globally.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Indigenous Engagement
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
XE05

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 43

ACTION

X-energy initiated contact with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses (CCAB) as a first step to learning how best to engage in meaningful dialogue and determining related actions. X-energy’s Canadian subsidiary, once fully established, will be committing to the PARS programme of the CCAB.

It is X-energy’s intent that the policies and programmes of Xe-100 Canada enable a positive relationship, consideration of First Nations opinions and inputs, and opportunities for employment of First Nations people. 

We seek early conversations with knowledgeable First Nations people to inform our relevant policies and programmes.

EXPECTED RESULTS

X-energy is expecting to have policies and programmes that are free of systemic biases and that promote the recruitment of a diverse team made up of people from many backgrounds, including Indigenous communities.

A diverse team will bring valued perspectives and will allow us to communicate and engage with all interested parties. We believe the best decisions for communities, governments and in the innovation of our technologies will be made through consideration of a diversity of views.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Promoting diversity in the future SMR workforce
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
XE06

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 39

ACTION

X-energy is strongly committed to a workforce that is as diverse as Canadian society. As we set up our operations in Canada, through the creation of Xe-100 Canada, we are looking to ensure that our team reflects the diversity of the workforce.

We commit to ensuring that our recruitment, retention and promotion procedures are deliberately developed to be free of systemic biases. We strongly believe that the best team can only be recruited when biases are deliberately removed from processes.

As an affirmation of our commitment, Xe-100 Canada will be signing on to Equal by 30 and will be preparing and submitting our commitments in the coming months.

EXPECTED RESULTS

We believe that having unbiased recruitment, retention and promotion procedures will enhance our ability to recruit and retain the best team possible and that it will be diverse. 

This approach has already led us to hiring a highly competent female executive to lead our Canadian enterprise and we anticipate this approach to continue to benefit our company and result in a naturally diverse team.