Babcock & Wilcox is a step closer to building the country's first small modular reactor at Tennessee's Clinch River site after announcing an agreement Wednesday with the Tennessee Valley Authority to pursue licensing of the plant.Specifically, B&W and TVA have signed a contract to prepare a construction permit application for the mPower SMR, B&W said in a release. The Department of Energy recently selected the mPower design for a grant to develop SMR technology. Early work, such as a site geological characterization and an environmental assessment, will begin once B&W reaches a separate agreement with DOE related to the funding. The NRC should receive the completed permit application in 2015. “This construction permit contract with TVA is evidence of real and definitive progress toward our goal of completing the first commercial deployment of an SMR in the United States by 2022,” B&W CEO E. James Ferland said in the release.Plans call for up to four SMRs to be built in Oak Ridge, Tenn., on TVA land once slated for the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project. According to the NRC, B&W began the pre-application process for licensing the mPower in 2009. It will have a rated thermal output of 530 megawatts and an electrical output of 180 megawatts. The light water reactor and its steam generator will be built within a single underground containment vessel, and multiple units can be added side by side.
Good news. Idea this project is future nuclear industry.