Dow opts for Texas site for SMR nuclear project

Dow opts for Texas site for SMR nuclear project

US materials firm Dow has opted for its Seadrift, Texas, location for its proposed advanced small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear project. It will work with X-Energy Reactor Company, a developer of advanced nuclear reactors and fuel technology for clean energy generation, for installing the SMR at its manufacturing site in Texas The project is focused on providing the Seadrift site with safe, reliable, zero carbon emissions power and steam as existing energy and steam assets near their end-of-life.

Dow and X-energy previously announced their entry into a joint development agreement to install an advanced SMR nuclear plant at an industrial site in North America. The US Department of Energy named Dow a sub-awardee under X-energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program Cooperative Agreement. The JDA provides for up to US$50 million in engineering work, up to half of which is eligible to be funded through ARDP, and the other half by Dow.

The project is expected to reduce the Seadrift site’s emissions by approximately 440,000 MT CO2e/year. Dow and X-energy will now prepare and submit a Construction Permit application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an important milestone to bringing the project to fruition. Construction on the four-reactor project is expected to begin in 2026 and to be completed by the end of this decade.

Dow’s Seadrift site covers 4,700 acres and manufactures more than 4 million pounds/year of materials used across a wide variety of applications including food packaging and preservation, footwear, wire and cable insulation, solar cell membranes, and packaging for medical and pharmaceutical products.

X-energy was selected by the DOE in 2020 to develop, license, build, and demonstrate an operational advanced reactor and fuel fabrication facility by the end of the decade. Since that award, X-energy has completed the engineering and basic design of the nuclear reactor, has begun development and licensing of a fuel fabrication facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and is now working with Dow to prepare applications to the NRC for construction permits at the Seadrift site.