Dow, the world's leading materials science company, and X-Energy Reactor Company, LLC ("X-energy"), a leading developer of advanced nuclear reactors and fuel technology for clean energy generation, announced recently that Dow has selected its UCC1 Seadrift Operations manufacturing site ("Seadrift or the "site") in Texas for its proposed advanced small modular reactor ("SMR") nuclear project. 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 ("JDA") to install an advanced SMR nuclear plant at an industrial site in North America. The U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE") named Dow a sub-awardee under X-energy's Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program ("ARDP") Cooperative Agreement. The JDA provides for up to $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 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ("NRC"), 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 of materials per year 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.
Jim Fitterling, Dow chairman and CEO, said, "Advanced nuclear has attractive advantages over other sources of clean power, including a compact footprint, competitive cost, and enhanced power and steam reliability. The Seadrift site plays an important role in further advancing Dow's sustainability goals, as evidenced by our increasing growth and investment at the site. We are excited to have the support of our local community, the DOE, and State of Texas as we progress on this important project."
"Our advanced nuclear project is another example of Dow leading the way and showing industry the path toward a lower carbon future. Alongside Dow's key decarbonize and grow projects in Alberta and Terneuzen, as well as our circularity projects around the globe, we are positioned to drive growth by delivering sustainable products."
Clay Sell, X-energy CEO, said "X-energy will deliver our innovative technology to the Texas Gulf Coast to efficiently and reliably decarbonize the Seadrift Site's heat and power assets. We will showcase the unique versatility and wide range of applications of the Xe-100 advanced small modular nuclear reactor for energy production and manufacturing. This project will serve as a model for how we can decarbonize processes to create the products relied upon by people all over the world."
Governor Greg Abbott, The State of Texas, said "Texas is the energy capital of the world, and Dow and X-energy's decision to choose Texas as the location for their new SMR nuclear plant is a testament to our state's exceptional business climate and history of innovation in this critical industry," said Governor Greg Abbott. "This SMR project further cements Texas' position as a global energy leader and will bring good-paying jobs and more economic opportunity to hardworking Texans in the Coastal Bend. I look forward to working with Dow and X-energy as we continue to unleash the full potential of our state's mighty energy industry."
Judge Richard Meyer, Calhoun County Judge, said "We are excited that Dow has chosen its Seadrift site for this innovative technology and investment. Calhoun County welcomes this economic development and we appreciate Dow and X-energy's willingness to engage the community regarding the benefits and safety of the project."