TVA Signs Letter of Intent for 6 Babcock & Wilcox mPower Small Modular Reactors

We recognize the unique benefits that small modular reactor technology can present to the nuclear industry in the areas of economics and safety, Christofer Mowry, Chairman of GmP and President of Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, Inc., said.

mPower Small Modular ReactorThe Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) announced today that Generation mPower LLC (GmP), a majority-owned subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, Inc., has signed a letter of intent with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) that defines the project plans and associated conditions for designing, licensing and constructing up to six B&W mPower small modular reactors (SMRs) at TVA’s Clinch River site in Roane County, Tenn. The project is expected to include joint development and pursuit of a construction permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The project would also include engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) activities leading to receipt of an operating license from the NRC, assuming certain preconditions are met.

GmP is a company formed by affiliates of B&W and Bechtel Power Corporation to design, license and build the world's first commercially viable Generation III++ small modular nuclear power plant based on B&W mPower SMR technology.

Christofer Mowry, Chairman of GmP and President of Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, Inc., said, “We believe the energy industry needs the complementary skills of a capable, integrated nuclear supplier team and an experienced nuclear operating utility to successfully deploy the game-changing clean energy solution that B&W mPower represents. Together, TVA and GmP can meet this challenge and capture the promise of SMRs.  We have a common interest in seeking to successfully deploy this advanced nuclear reactor, which is based on substantially proven technology, by the end of this decade.”

Bill McCollum, TVA’s Chief Operating Officer, said, “We recognize the unique benefits that small modular reactor technology can present to the nuclear industry in the areas of economics and safety. Successful deployment of small reactor technology will increase the options available for clean, reliable and safe power generation.”   

GmP remains on track to deploy the first B&W mPower reactor by 2020 at TVA’s Clinch River site. The B&W mPower Integrated System Test facility in Virginia is expected to begin a three-year project later this summer to collect data to verify the reactor design and safety performance in support of licensing activities. TVA plans to submit a Construction Permit Application to the NRC in 2012, and GmP plans to submit a Design Certification Application to the NRC in 2013.

“We have been working with TVA for some time to evaluate the technical and regulatory requirements associated with constructing B&W mPower SMRs at its Clinch River site,” said Ali Azad, GmP President and Chief Executive Officer.  

The letter of intent specifies the division of responsibilities between GmP and TVA for the preparation and NRC review of a construction permit application. The letter also describes the timing of the project’s activities for successful completion of major EPC milestones.

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