Cavendish Nuclear, part of Babcock International Group, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with US nuclear reactor and fuel design engineering company X-energy to act as its deployment partner for High Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGRs) in the UK.

X-energy said its HTGR can support the decarbonisation of industrial heat and hydrogen at scale, as well as electricity, helping to meet the growing demand for low-carbon energy. It offers rapid deployment, with the first units set to be deployed in the US from 2027 with the UK planning to follow.

Development and deployment of HTGRs would support an increase in UK energy security, contribute towards the Government’s Net Zero commitments to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050, and create considerable opportunities for the UK nuclear supply chain.

According to X-energy, the MOU complements Cavendish Nuclear’s support to all three nuclear streams in the UK Government’s Energy Security Strategy: Large Gigawatt Reactors, Small Modular Reactors, and Advanced Modular Reactors such as HTGRs with the capability to focus on industrial heat and hydrogen.

Mick Gornall, Cavendish Nuclear, Managing Director said, “The UK Government’s choice of HTGRs as its preferred technology for the Advanced Modular Reactor Research Development & Demonstration Programme, gives us the opportunity to explore the significant contribution X-energy’s technology can make to decarbonizing the wider energy sector.”

Clay Sell, X-energy CEO noted: “Trans-Atlantic collaboration is a critical part of strengthening global energy security and reliability, and this partnership can help pave the way to safer and cleaner energy for all.”