A company that designs nuclear reactors is proposing to develop a multi-billion pound plant at Hartlepool.

X-energy has released a report outlining how its plans can accelerate the path to net zero and says it wants to develop a 12-reactor Teesside plant to be ready by the early 2030s next to the site of the existing Nuclear Power Station in Hartlepool.

The company plans to build more of the small modular Xe-100 power plants in the UK and that will create thousands of high-quality jobs in construction and operations.

The new Beyond Electricity report, produced by Equilibrion, has summarised the project by using Teesside as a case study.

Carol Tansley, Vice President, UK New Build Projects, at X-energy said: “This is a huge opportunity for Teesside and the country as a whole.

“There is a skilled nuclear workforce already in place at Hartlepool Power Station which would be reaching the end of its life just as our project entered development and construction.

“We can provide high quality local jobs and a low carbon future for the area’s industrial base, and then use that experience to benefit similar regions across the UK. The intrinsic safety of the reactors ‘pebble’ fuel form allows for siting closer to the point of need.”

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 programme to encourage advanced nuclear proposals.

Joanne Leng MBE, Chief Executive, NOF, said: “The UK needs a balanced pathway to achieve net zero by 2050 with nuclear being a key contributor.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Joanne LengJoanne Leng

“The roll out of innovative nuclear technologies by NOF member X-energy, includes the development of their Advanced Small Modular Reactors. These developments and their planned investment in Teesside mean this region can take a lead in technology development for the nuclear industry with the supply chain benefitting greatly.

“These advanced reactors can be largely built in factories to minimise costly on-site construction, this is why Teesside and the North-East of England is so well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity as our strong, capable supply chain includes a plethora of specialist engineering companies and fabricators."

Jill Mortimer, MP for Hartlepool said: “Teesside is a fitting hub of this innovative energy infrastructure.

“As the report highlights, the region’s industry has a high demand for high temperature heat and steam. We have a unique site opportunity in Hartlepool where we have nuclear designated land beside an industrial cluster, which has led to me lobbying the Government for an Advanced Modular Reactor on the existing Nuclear Power Station’s site.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Nuclear energy will have a key role to play in achieving our net zero targets.

“Hartlepool is established as a centre of excellence for nuclear engineering and its workforce has the skills and knowhow to ensure it can be a vital part of the industry’s future through the development of innovative projects such as Advanced Small Modular Reactors.”

Cllr Mike Young, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: ‘“I have personally attended stakeholder briefings by X-energy over the last year or so and I understand the benefits that this technology could have on our nuclear power industry.

“Hartlepool would welcome any company selected by the Government to bring investment into Hartlepool’s nuclear power industry.’’