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Dow pursues emissions reductions with X-energy’s small modular nuclear tech

November 28, 2022  By Anthony Capkun



November 28, 2022 – Materials science company Dow and nuclear energy company X-energy have signed a letter of intent whereby they will collaborate on the deployment of X-energy’s Xe-100 high-temperature gas reactor technology at one of Dow’s U.S. Gulf Coast sites.

“Advanced small modular nuclear technology is going to be a critical tool for Dow’s path to zero-carbon emissions and our ability to drive growth by delivering low-carbon products to our customers,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow chair and CEO.

Expected to be operational by around 2030, the reactor plant will advance Dow’s carbon emissions-reduction goals by providing “cost-competitive, carbon-free process heat and power to the Dow facility”, say the partners.

The Xe-100 is a Generation IV, high-temperature gas reactor that is engineered to operate as a single 80-MW electric unit and is optimized as a four-unit plant delivering 320 MW electric. The reactor can also support industrial applications with 200 MW thermal output per unit of high-pressure, high-temperature steam.

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“Nuclear energy has always offered the promise of broad economy-wide decarbonization,” Clay Sell, X-energy’s CEO. “Dow has a remarkable 125-year history of bringing innovative solutions to the market, and their leadership is a critical driver in meeting decarbonization goals in the energy-intensive industrial sector.”

Dow also intends to take a minority equity stake in X-energy, working with the company to deploy small modular nuclear technology.

This announcement builds on Dow’s efforts to continue transitioning its sites and operations globally to cleaner power, says the joint press release. Last year, the company expanded its access to renewable power to more than 900 MW and obtained more than 25% of its purchased electricity from renewable sources.

In 2021, Dow announced plans to build the world’s first net-zero (Scopes 1 and 2 emissions) carbon emissions integrated ethylene cracker and derivatives site in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.


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