A team planning to build 12 nuclear reactors in Hartlepool has been given a multi-million vote of confidence from the Government.

X-Energy and Cavendish Nuclear have welcomed a funding award of £3.34 million from the UK Government’s Future Nuclear Enabling Fund to continue the development of their plans for Advanced Modular Reactors  in the UK.

The award will be matched by X-energy for a total programme of £6.68 million. The companies will use the funds to develop UK-specific deployment plans including an assessment of domestic manufacturing and supply chain opportunities, constructability, modularisation studies, and fuel management.

Talking about the project recently, Carol Tansley, Vice President, UK New Build Projects, at X-energy said: “This is a huge opportunity for Teesside and the country as a whole.

“There is a skilled nuclear workforce already in place at Hartlepool Power Station which would be reaching the end of its life just as our project entered development and construction.

“We can provide high quality local jobs and a low carbon future for the area’s industrial base, and then use that experience to benefit similar regions across the UK. The intrinsic safety of the reactors ‘pebble’ fuel form allows for siting closer to the point of need.”

Hartlepool owner and operator EDF Energy has been assessing the applicability of modern nuclear technologies, including the Xe-100, as part of a government-backed programme to encourage advanced nuclear proposals.

X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear also announced a partnership with construction and infrastructure group Kier,  to support construction and supply chain analyses. Kier joins steel producer and engineer Sheffield Forgemasters and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) to support X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear.

Minister for Nuclear & Renewables Andrew Bowie said: “We are backing innovation in nuclear – from building large-scale plants better to encouraging new advanced technologies – to achieve our ambition for a quarter of our electricity to come from nuclear power by 2050.

“This funding supports the next step in the development of advanced modular reactors and shows our commitment to keeping the UK at the forefront of nuclear technology."

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Mick Gornall, Managing Director of Cavendish Nuclear said: “As X-energy’s UK deployment partner we’re pleased to welcome this award as a key step forward. A fleet of Xe-100s can complement renewables by providing constant or flexible power and produce steam to decarbonise industry and manufacture hydrogen and synthetic transport fuels.

"Deployment in the UK will create thousands of high-quality, long-term jobs across the country.”