KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A first-of-its-kind nuclear fuel fabrication facility coming to Oak Ridge is expected to bring over 400 jobs and millions in investment to the area.

The Horizon Center Industrial Park in Oak Ridge has been selected by TRISO-X LLC for the development of an advanced nuclear reactor fuel fabrication facility, the nation’s first High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) based fuel fabrication facility.

The facility is projected to generate more than 400 jobs to the Oak Ridge area and attract an investment of nearly $300 million, building off investments to date of over $75 million. Throughout construction, TRISO-X will partner with local community colleges to develop a training program and recruit from the local labor force, helping to create sustainable economic opportunities for the region.

Site preparation and construction of the facility will get underway in 2022, with start-up scheduled for as early as 2025.

“I am very excited to see the growth of TRISO-X in Oak Ridge. I was present for the commissioning of the X-energy TRISO-X Pilot Facility in 2018, and am thrilled that they have selected Oak Ridge for their commercial manufacturing facility,” said U.S. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN03) said. “This fuel, used to power advanced reactors, will take advantage of the unique talent Oak Ridge has to offer, and bring US technology leadership in clean nuclear energy to the world.”

The site will manufacture fuel for any number of advanced or small nuclear reactors. The facility will initially produce 8 metric tons per year of fuel that can support about twelve Xe-100 reactors. The TRISO-X team aims to expand the facility’s capacity to 16 MTU/year by the early 2030s.

“TRISO-X is on the leading edge of new nuclear technology, providing innovative solutions to help the utility industry – and the nation – achieve net-zero carbon emissions. At TVA, we believe advanced nuclear energy is the best choice for clean, low-cost, around-the-clock generation, and I am honored to welcome TRISO-X as they join other innovators in Oak Ridge to shape our energy future.”

TVA President & CEO Jeff Lyash