The Babcock & Wilcox Co. (B&W) won the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) competitively bid Small Modular Reactor Licensing Technical Support Program. B&W will receive funding that will support accelerated development of its B&W mPower SMR technology.
In March 2012, the DOE issued a funding opportunity to provide support to the American nuclear industry for SMR technology development and design certification. The funding program, expected to be administered over the next five years, is the cornerstone of a public-private partnership created to share the challenges of developing and deploying these specialized nuclear reactors across the U.S. before 2022.
SMRs offer the promise of expanding high-technology U.S. manufacturing jobs and exports, as well as maintaining America's leadership role in global nuclear policy and security issues. As a result of this FOA announcement, B&W mPower has been selected by the DOE as the SMR technology provider for early deployment, and thereby delivering these program goals and benefits for the nation.
B&W formed the mPower America project team with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Bechtel to pursue an award under this program. The mPower America team and its members currently have nearly 400 employees working on the development and licensing of the B&W mPower SMR.
The project will help to revitalize the U.S. commercial nuclear manufacturing infrastructure. B&W subsidiaries have executed 150 agreements with suppliers in 36 states to support the B&W mPower program. Once in the deployment stage, the mPower America project will create a significant number of new jobs at B&W manufacturing facilities and supplier facilities.
TVA is preparing an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to license up to four B&W mPower SMRs at its Clinch River Site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
The B&W mPower SMR is designed to provide 180 MW of carbon-free electricity. It is based on advanced integral pressurized water reactor technology that incorporates passive safety protection systems within a fully underground containment structure.