The two firms are developing proposals for an advanced small modular nuclear reactor in Hartlepool

X-Energy UK Holdings, Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of X-Energy Reactor Company, LLC (“X-energy”) and Cavendish Nuclear, which together are proposing a new power station at Hartlepool, today welcomed news that the existing plant would continue to operate for two more years beyond its original planned closure date of 2024.

X-energy, a leading developer of advanced small modular nuclear reactors (“SMRs”) and fuel technology for clean energy generation, and Cavendish Nuclear are developing proposals for SMRs in the UK and have identified Hartlepool as a preferred location.

Carol Tansley, Vice President of UK Nuclear New Build at X-energy said:

“It’s fantastic news that the team at Hartlepool power station will go on producing secure, clean electricity until 2026.

“Hartlepool is an ideal site for our Xe-100 SMR reactor, which can deliver clean electricity and high temperature steam for industrial processes, including hydrogen production, supporting Teesside’s intention to be a center of industrial excellence in the Net Zero age.

“If we begin regulatory assessment this year, we would be well-positioned to have our first unit operating by around 2030. Today’s news presents a bridge between current operations and a future of clean energy and high-quality employment.”

Mick Gornall, Managing Director of Cavendish Nuclear said:

“Cavendish Nuclear is proud to have been part of the team involved in the construction and operational support of Hartlepool Power Station. We’re delighted to hear about the life extension.

“The Xe-100 can build on gas reactor technologies that have been pioneered in the UK, leveraging the experience in the Hartlepool area and across the UK.”

X-energy and Cavendish have established a goal to secure up to 80% of its plant construction and manufacturing from the UK supply chain.

The proposed new small modular reactors could be located on land adjacent to the existing power station. Hartlepool owner and operator EDF Energy has been assessing the applicability of modern nuclear technologies, including the Xe-100, as part of a government-backed program to encourage advanced nuclear proposals.

X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear have applied to the UK Government’s Future Nuclear Enabling Fund (FNEF) to support a regulatory “Generic Design Assessment” and supply chain development activities for the first project.

Last week, X-energy announced a joint development agreement (“JDA”) with U.S. materials science giant Dow to develop a four-unit Xe-100 facility at one of Dow’s US Gulf Coast sites to demonstrate the first advanced nuclear reactor for an industrial site in North America.

X-energy was selected by the US Department of Energy (“DOE”) to receive up to $1.2 billion in matching funds under the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (“ARDP”) 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, proceeded with development of a fuel fabrication facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and is working with Dow to prepare and submit an application for its first construction permit to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Xe-100 evolved from both the UK’s Dragon reactor at Winfrith in Dorset and the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor project in South Africa, which was supported by the UK Government.

The Xe-100 uses tri-structural isotropic (“TRISO”) particle fuel, “the most robust nuclear fuel on the planet,” according to the DOE, because it can withstand very high temperatures without melting, which is key to its safety. X-energy unit TRISO-X LLC (“TRISO-X”) manufactures its own proprietary version of TRISO—also called TRISO-X—to ensure supply, to control quality, and to reduce costs. TRISO-X has operated a pilot nuclear fuel fabrication facility at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory since 2016, serving as a demonstration facility of the Company’s patented TRISO fabrication processes.

X-energy plans to produce the fuel for its UK power plants in the UK.

As previously announced on December 6, 2022, X-energy entered into a definitive business combination agreement with Ares Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: AAC) (“AAC”), a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company. Upon the closing of the transaction, which 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.

Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by AAC’s shareholders, the Registration Statement being declared effective by the SEC, and other customary closing conditions.


For further information, please contact Leon Flexman: [email protected] / 07920 143732 or Yvonne Preston: [email protected] / 07971 304338

Notes to Editors

About X-Energy Reactor Company, LLC
X-Energy Reactor Company, LLC, is a leading developer of advanced small modular nuclear reactors and fuel technology for clean energy generation that is redefining the nuclear energy industry through its development of safer and more efficient advanced small modular nuclear reactors and proprietary fuel to deliver reliable, zero-carbon and affordable energy to people around the world. X-energy’s simplified, modular, and intrinsically safe SMR design expands applications and markets for deployment of nuclear technology and drives enhanced safety, lower cost and faster construction timelines when compared with other SMRs and conventional nuclear.

For more information, visit or connect with us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

About Cavendish Nuclear
Cavendish Nuclear decommissions redundant nuclear facilities, supports the UK’s Clean Energy commitment through Nuclear New Build and the development of Advanced Nuclear Technologies and helps keep the UK’s fleet of nuclear-powered submarines at sea. Our role in Cavendish Nuclear is to enable a world where nuclear plays a key contribution in protecting our nation, ensuring security of energy supply and meeting our net zero commitments – Creating a safe and secure world, together.

Nuclear has a vital role in delivering net zero by 2050, we are passionate about the key role that we play in that. Clean energy is a core focus for Cavendish Nuclear through our support to existing reactors, the construction of Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C, and our work to develop advanced nuclear technologies for the future.

For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn.

About Ares Acquisition Corporation
AAC is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) affiliated with Ares Management Corporation, formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination. AAC is seeking to pursue an initial business combination target in any industry or sector in North America, Europe or Asia.

For more information about AAC, please visit