Babcock & Wilcox announced nuclear component contracts worth more than $510 million Tuesday, including $65 million awarded under a new contract for fiscal year 2013.The company's Nuclear Operations Group builds propulsion systems for submarines and aircraft carriers. The group begins the work under the new contracts this month at facilities in Lynchburg, Va.; Barberton, Ohio; Euclid, Ohio and Mt. Vernon, Ind. It will take place over eight years, according to a B&W release.Based in Charlotte, N.C., B&W has provided services for the nuclear Navy since 1964. Of the most recent funding, $445 million will come from options exercised under a $2 billion contract awarded in 2010.
The company's Nuclear Fuel Services subsidiary also provides highly enriched fuel for the military. In November, it announced a separate $100 million set of contracts with the Department of Energy's Naval Reactors Laboratory Field Office and for a program developing material for next-generation Naval reactors.
It is too bad the Navy is so locked into LWRs. Surely Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs) would allow a wider use of nuclear power for ships without requiring procurement of the entire fuel load right up front.