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Uranium miner Cameco, X-energy to explore cooperation on small modular reactors

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(Kitco News) - Cameco (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ) and X-energy today announced that they have entered a non-binding and non-exclusive Memorandum of Understanding to explore possible areas of cooperation to support the potential future deployment, fuelling and servicing of Xe-100 small modular reactors (SMRs) in Canada and the United States.

"We feel very confident about the future of nuclear power and the future of SMRs, here in Canada, in the U.S. and across the globe," said Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel. "We intend to be a fuel supplier of choice for the emerging SMR and advanced reactor market and look forward to working with X-energy to see what opportunities might exist around their innovative reactor technology."

Cameco is one of the largest global suppliers of uranium and a leader in uranium mining, refining, conversion and fuel manufacturing services.

"Cameco is a cornerstone of the Canadian nuclear industry and has global reach," said Pete Pappano, President of TRISO-X, X-energy's fuel fabrication subsidiary. "As X-energy works to bring the world's first commercial advanced reactor to market in North America, we look forward to building a fruitful partnership that could provide a steady fuel supply for our technology in North America and support its deployment around the world."

According to the statement, the U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded X-energy, under a prime contract, approximately US$1.23 billion under the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) to license, site, build and operate a commercial-scale advanced nuclear power plant based on the Xe-100 design with Energy Northwest by 2027, and to establish the commercial-scale TRISO-X Fuel Fabrication Facility. The Xe-100 four-pack reactor plant is slated for operation in 2027.

In October 2020, Ontario Power Generation identified the Xe-100 as a potential technology for the Darlington New Nuclear Project (DNNP), which aims to have an SMR in operation as early as 2028. X-energy said it is currently advancing the Xe-100 design and engineering work with the utility.

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