August 15, 2023
Dr. Ben Reinke, X-Energy and Kreshka Young, Dow
For this episode of Gener8 we are joined by speakers from two organizations focused on supporting clean energy deployment in industrial applications. Kreshka Young, North America Business Director for Energy & Climate at Dow, and Dr. Ben Reinke, Vice President of Global Business Development at X-Energy, chatted with Jeff Tillery and I about a first-of-a-kind domestic project to demonstrate advanced nuclear technology at a petrochemical plant in Seadrift, TX. While nuclear energy has been used for non-grid based applications before, the scale and scope of the project being undertaken by these two companies is novel for the United States.
Our conversation started with what drivers and forces propelled the initial discussions around the project and how those preliminary conversations survived beyond the point that many other such endeavors have fizzled out in infancy. We delved into some of the aspects of power generation at industrial sites and why this particular technology is enticing before turning our conversation to the scale of federal and local support for the project and how that impacts the overall risk profile. From there, we turned to overall economics as well as regulatory issues for deployment and whether those were a limiting factor in seeing the project come to fruition. Our conversation also touched on operational and staffing concerns for Dow as well as the potential for consideration of further demonstrations in the future. Providing reliable energy for industrial applications is becoming more and more challenging every day and learning more about this project helps us understand how society might tackle these issues in the future.
We look forward to watching success and progress at Seadrift. We were fascinated by the discussion with Kreshka and Ben and hope you will be too.