US-based X-energy has teamed with Japan’s Nuclear Fuel Industries (NFI) to be the exclusive counterparty to supply fuel to the Japanese high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR).
X-energy is purchasing the compact press equipment that can make annular fuel compacts for the "prism-type" HTGR core from Japanese-based NFI.
X-energy will use the TRISO-X fuel facility and the former NFI compact press equipment to form tri-structural isotropic (TRISO) fuel, which seals uranium particles in a protective coating, eliminating the meltdown risk associated with traditional nuclear plants.
"We are excited to continue expanding our services to international partners, including NFI," said X-energy CEO Clay Sell. "This is an important step to achieving our mission of creating a greener planet by providing enough carbon-free energy to sustain growing demand around the world."
X-energy has been manufacturing its patented TRISO-X fuel for over three years, and is the only US company producing TRISO fuel. It is also engaging with the Department of Energy (DOE) to further develop and design its fuel facility.
Since 2009, X-energy has focused on designing state-of-the-art nuclear systems and establishing leading TRISO fuel fabrication capabilities that have broad applicability – from large commercial plants to small, remote military applications, to nuclear thermal space propulsion concepts. X-energy has won DOE, Department of Defense, and NASA contracts totalling more than $100 million to develop nuclear fuels and build innovative nuclear reactor concept.
Photo: Japan's HTGR received regulatory approval to restart in June, pending upgrades