Cavendish Nuclear and X-energy to explore opportunities for High Temperature Gas – Cooled Reactors in the UK

Cavendish Nuclear, part of Babcock International Group, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with US nuclear reactor & fuel design engineering company X-energy to act as its deployment partner for High Temperature Gas Reactors in the UK. 

X-energy’s High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (HTGR) can support the decarbonisation of industrial heat and hydrogen at scale, as well as electricity, helping to meet the growing demand for low-carbon energy.  It offers rapid deployment, with the first units set to be deployed in the US from 2027 with the UK planning to follow.

Development and deployment of HTGRs would support an increase in UK energy security, contribute towards the Government’s Net Zero commitments to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050, and create considerable opportunities for the UK nuclear supply chain.

The MoU complements Cavendish Nuclear’s support to all three nuclear streams in the UK Government’s Energy Security Strategy: Large Gigawatt Reactors, Small Modular Reactors, and Advanced Modular Reactors such as HTGRs with the capability to focus on industrial heat and hydrogen.

Together the companies would combine world-leading US technology with the project integration, manufacturing, modularisation and O&M capability of Cavendish Nuclear.

Mick Gornall, Cavendish Nuclear, Managing Director said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Cavendish Nuclear and X-energy to bring together the collective breadth and depth of our expertise and experience to forge opportunities to develop and deploy HTGRs in the UK. 

“The UK Government’s choice of HTGRs as its preferred technology for the Advanced Modular Reactor Research Development & Demonstration Programme, gives us the opportunity to explore the significant contribution X-energy’s technology can make to decarbonising the wider energy sector.”

“X-energy is proud to partner with Cavendish Nuclear to lead and accelerate zero carbon progress in support of the UK Government’s emissions goals,” added Clay Sell, X-energy Chief Executive Officer, “Cavendish Nuclear is an experienced and proven nuclear innovation leader with the capabilities and expertise to combine their best-in-class deployment with X-energy’s unparalleled technology at scale to meet the needs of customers, consumers, and businesses across the UK.

“Trans-Atlantic collaboration is a critical part of strengthening global energy security and reliability, and this partnership can help pave the way to safer and cleaner energy for all.”