The University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering hosted an event on August 16th called Advanced Nuclear Technology in Texas, where Dow and X-Energy CEO’s joined Texas Governor Greg Abbott for a discussion about why the Texas Gulf Coast is quickly becoming the epicenter for nuclear with the recent announcement about Dow and X-Energy. Dow and X-energy are combining efforts to deploy the first advanced small modular nuclear reactor at industrial site under DOE’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program
“Texas is the energy capital of the world, but more important is what we are doing with that energy and what it means for our future in the state of Texas,” said Abbott. “Very important to our state is how we use energy to generate power for our grid. For a state that continues to grow massively, we are at the height of our production during the day, and we generate more power than California and New York combined. But we need more dispatchable power generation. One thing we are looking at with a keen eye is the ability to expand our capabilities with regard to nuclear generated power.”
The Governor announced a directive to the Public Utilities Commission of Texas to formulate a workgroup that will make recommendations that aim to propel Texas as a national leader in advanced nuclear energy.
According to the directive, to maximize power grid reliability, the group will work to understand Texas’s role in deploying and using advanced reactors, consider potential financial incentives available, determine nuclear-specific changes needed in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market, identify any federal or state regulatory hurdles to development, and analyze how Texas can streamline and speed up advanced reactor construction permitting.
Below are five key takeaways about the project and why energy experts are excited about advanced nuclear energy: