Washington utility district enters P3 for advanced nuclear reactor
Washington – The Grant County Public Utility District signed an agreement on April 1 to establish a public-private partnership (P3) to support the development and commercial demonstration of the first advanced nuclear reactor in the U.S.
Estimated to cost $2.4 billion, the project will take seven years to complete and will be online by 2027-2028.
Through the TRi Energy Partnership, the parties will evaluate each step of the project and identify the best approach to licensing, permitting, construction, operation, and ownership.
A proposed location north of Richland would be the site of an Xe-100 advanced nuclear power plant capable of generating up to 320 megawatts using a TRISO fuel, which stands for “TRi-structural ISOtropic particle fuel.”
Each TRISO particle consists of a uranium, carbon, and oxygen fuel kernel that is encapsulated in three layers of carbon and ceramic-based coating that prevents radioactive fission products from being released. TRISO particles are extremely small and will be fabricated into tennis ball-sized spheres called “pebbles” that are ideal for a high temperature gas reactor.
TRISO has great structural strength and durability, as well as the ability to withstand high temperatures. With triple-coated layers, each particle is its own containment system and retains fission products under all reactor conditions and temperatures.