“An Absolute Game-Changer”: Newhouse Applauds Department of Energy Investment in Central Washington Nuclear Energy Projects

October 14, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the recipients of the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP). ARDP will provide initial funding to projects developing advanced nuclear reactors in the United States. The selected ARDP recipients, X-energy and TerraPower-GE Hitachi, will work in partnership with Energy Northwest in Richland, WA, as the key utility partner to continue innovating the next generation of nuclear energy technology.

Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement, applauding the ARDP awards and Energy Northwest’s role in the selected projects:

“The selection of these projects is an absolute game-changer for our state and makes it official: Tri-Cities, Washington is a global leader in nuclear energy innovation,” said Rep. Newhouse. “The Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program indicates the Department of Energy’s commitment to the development of safe, reliable nuclear power, which is unquestionably necessary as our country heads toward a clean energy future. I applaud DOE’s recognition of the brilliant scientific minds in Central Washington, our region’s history of nuclear development and innovation, and the legacy these projects will establish for the future of nuclear power in the United States. I could not be more thrilled with this announcement and this momentous opportunity for our region.”

X-energy will deliver a commercial four-unit nuclear power plant based on its Xe-100 reactor design. The Xe-100 is a high temperature gas-cooled reactor that is ideally suited to provide flexible electricity output as well as process heat for a wide range of industrial heat applications, such as desalination and hydrogen production. The project will also deliver a commercial scale TRi-structural ISOtropic particle fuel (TRISO) fuel fabrication facility, leveraging DOE’s substantial investment in development of this highly robust fuel form.

TerraPower will demonstrate the Natrium reactor, a sodium‐cooled fast reactor that leverages of decades of development and design undertaken by TerraPower and its partner, GE‐Hitachi. The high-operating temperature of the Natrium reactor, coupled with thermal energy storage, will allow the plant to provide flexible electricity output that complements variable renewable generation such as wind a solar. In addition, this project will establish a new metal fuel fabrication facility that is scaled to meet the needs of this demonstration program.


The Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP), within the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy, is designed to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactor in the United States.

Under the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, DOE received $230 million to start a new demonstration program for advanced reactors. ARDP elements include Advanced Reactor Demonstration, Risk Reduction for Future Demonstrations, Regulatory Development, and Advanced Reactor Safeguards.

Click here to learn more about ARDP.