May 5, 2022 – X-energy, a nuclear reactor and fuel design engineering company, and its subsidiary, TRISO-X LLC, are developing the TRISO-X Fuel Fabrication Facility (TF3), a commercial high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU)-based fuel fabrication facility. It will be the first of its kind in the U.S. and will utilize uranium enriched to less than 20% to manufacture nuclear fuel products for a variety of advanced and small modular reactors, plus specialty fuels for space nuclear projects. Sargent & Lundy has provided licensing, design, and site selection services for the project, paving the way for construction to begin.
As a result of several site selection studies Sargent & Lundy conducted between 2018 and 2021, TRISO-X selected the Horizon Center Industrial Park in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as the facility’s location. Design support for the facility began in 2020 and involved collaboration from Sargent & Lundy’s architectural, civil, structural, electrical, instrumentation and controls (I&C), and fire protection teams. These efforts also involved the firm’s nuclear technology and regulations and energy and industrial permitting teams. Sargent & Lundy’s licensing efforts include safety analysis report (SAR) tasks and development of the environmental report (ER) to support the license application submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
X-energy is developing the Xe-100 small modular reactor (SMR), with Sargent & Lundy providing site selection, environmental and licensing (ER and SAR) support, as well as quality assurance and 3D plant model expertise. Each unit of the SMR is designed to produce approximately 80 megawatts of electric power. The fuel fabrication facility will initially produce 8 metric tons of fuel per year – enough to support approximately 12 Xe-100 SMRs – and up to 16 metric tons annually by the early 2030s.
Construction of the TF3 will begin this year with commissioning and start-up as soon as 2025.