X-Energy, TransAlta to Study Deployment of Xe-100 Small Modular Reactors

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Funded by the Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) award, the partnership will assess the feasibility of repurposing a fossil-fuel electricity generation site for an Xe-100 plant.

X-Energy Reactor Company and the TransAlta Corporation have established a partnership to study the deployment of the Xe-100 advanced small modular reactor (SMR) in Alberta, Canada. The study will examine the feasibility of repurposing a fossil-fired electricity generation site for an Xe-100 nuclear plant, funded by an award from ERA. To evaluate feasibility, the companies will assess the economics, regulatory impacts, licensing requirements, timelines, and overall suitability of deployment.

“This partnership with ERA marks a significant step forward for clean energy technologies in the province,” said Benjamin Reinke, Vice President, Global Business Development, X-Energy. “We are pleased to work with TransAlta, a leader in power production, innovation, and sustainability, to evaluate how X-energy can support the province’s climate goals. Alberta’s tradition of energy innovation combined with our advanced nuclear technology offers a powerful solution to reducing emissions while increasing reliable baseload generation capacity and supporting the region’s key economic drivers.”

X-Energy and TransAlta will also focus on identifying and expanding Alberta-based supply chain partners and vendors, as well as economic benefits within the region. The partnership will be supported by a series of nuclear and professional engineering firms, including Hatch, Kinectrics, and PCL Nuclear Management. Results from the study will provide insights and data to support future TransAlta project and business decisions.


ERA awarded the X-Energy study through its competitive proposal-based Reshaping Energy Systems funding opportunity, which is supported by the Government of Alberta to reduce emissions across the province by 2050. X-Energy plans to deploy the first advanced SMR in Alberta by the early 2030s.

The Xe-100 nuclear reactor and TRISO-X fuel are designed with safety in mind, addressing a broad range of uses and applications including steam and high-temperature heat for manufacturing, natural resource extraction, petroleum refining, and hydrogen production.

In January 2024, X-Energy completed the required milestones in the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC) pre-licensing vendor design review for the design of its Xe-100 SMR. The design underwent the CNSC’s combined phase 1 and phase 2 vendor design review (VDR) process, with the commission concluding that there are no fundamental barriers to licensing the product.

“The completion of the pre-licensing milestone underscores the regulatory and commercial readiness of the Xe-100 and demonstrates the opportunity to bring our advanced high-temperature gas reactor technology to the Canadian market,” said J. Clay Sell, CEO of X-Energy. “The work performed through the VDR and our engagements with the CNSC well position X-energy for future licensing applications. This is a great step forward for our high-temperature gas reactor technology and our future industrial and power generation deployments across Canada.”

Kevin Huberty, Project Director at Sargent & Lundy, spoke about the advantages of SMRs at the POWERGEN 2024 conference: “Citing the advantages, a big one is the smaller footprint of these reactors, along with expected smaller emergency planning zones, make them more flexible for various locations. SMRs can be used for baseload power, and they can power up and down faster than your larger nuclear reactors for load-following of renewables.”