Dow has selected its UCC1 Seadrift Operations manufacturing site in Texas for a proposed advanced small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear project. The project — the product of a joint development agreement (JDA) between Dow and X-Energy Reactor Company, LLC — 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.
“Advanced nuclear has attractive advantages over other sources of clean power, including a compact footprint, competitive cost, and enhanced power and steam reliability,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow chairman and CEO. “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.”
Dow and X-energy previously announced the 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.
“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,” said Clay Sell, X-energy CEO. “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.”
“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.”
— Clay Sell, CEO, X-energy
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, TN, and is now working with Dow to prepare applications to the NRC for Construction Permits at the Seadrift site.
“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.”