B&W awarded grant for mPower development

13 April 2011

Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) has received a $5 million grant for its new test facility in Bedford County, Virginia, to support licensing activities for its mPower small, modular reactor design.


mPower cutaway
A cutaway of the mPower design (Image: B&W)
The grant was awarded by the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalisation Commission (TICRC). The mPower Integrated System Test (IST) facility is being built at the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER), currently being constructed at the New London Business and Technology Center. The facility is not far from B&W's headquarters in Lynchburg.


The three-year test program will collect data to verify the reactor design and safety performance in support of B&W’s licensing activities with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). B&W expects the facility to begin testing activities later this summer. Once testing concludes, the company anticipates using the facility for on-going training of utility workers who would be operating mPower reactors.


Christofer Mowry, president of B&W Nuclear Energy, commented, "B&W is pleased to receive continued support from the Virginia Tobacco Commission and CAER as we establish a world-class testing facility in Bedford County." He added, "This facility will play a vitally important role in testing, licensing activities and demonstrating the maturity of the design for the B&W mPower reactor, while strengthening Central Virginia's reputation as a premier region for innovation in nuclear technology."


This is the second grant the Virginia TICRC has awarded for design and construction of B&W's IST facility. In July 2010, B&W announced a $2.4 million grant from the commission to support construction. The additional $5 million is designated for process equipment to support operation of a scaled prototype of the mPower reactor. B&W said that while all the technical features of the mPower integral reactor are included in the IST the source of heat for testing is electric rather than nuclear.


B&W and Bechtel have entered into a formal alliance to design, license and deploy B&W's mPower design, a 125 MWe modular reactor. Under the alliance - to be known as Generation mPower - B&W will focus on designing and testing the nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) and nuclear island, including the design certification application development and submission, and NSSS production. Bechtel will complement these responsibilities with integrated engineering and project management leadership.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News