On December 6, 2022, X-energy has entered into a definitive business combination agreement with Ares Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: AAC), a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company. The SPAC is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2023, the combined company will be named X-Energy, Inc. and its common equity securities and warrants are expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
X-energy (USA) will receive a strategic investment of USD25 million from South Korea’s DL E&C and Doosan Enerbility. X Energy is making the XE-100 high temperature gas-cooled small modular reactor (SMR) as well as TRISO advanced nuclear fuel. They have a pebble-bed reactor.
China completed a similar commercial HTR-PM pebble bed reactor. In 2021, both nuclear reactors of the High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor-Pebble-bed Module (HTR-PM) at the Shidaowan plant in China’s Shandong province reached criticality for the first time. The HTR-PM has two 250 MW thermal reactors that drive a single 210 MWe turbine. China plans to make commercial 600 MWe pebble bed reactors (6×250 MWt, total 655 MWe).
The XE100 would have a new level of ultra-safe reactor.
Doosan—which will continue to work with X-energy as a major component and system vendor—will engineer, supply and manufacture key components for the Xe-100 plant, including the reactor pressure vessel, a critical component that contains the reactor core, composed largely of X-energy’s proprietary TRISO-X nuclear fuel. Doosan and X-energy also plan to jointly pursue diverse applications of the Xe-100 technology, such as efficient provision of power and heat to industrial processes like hydrogen production.
DL E&C—one of the world’s leading power and energy sector engineering and construction firms, having installed 51GW of power plants in 17 countries and participated in the construction of several nuclear plants—will work with X-energy to identify opportunities around the world to employ its renowned practices to support the deployment of Xe-100 plants on a global scale.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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