TVA Interested in the B&W mPower Small Modular Reactors

- Edited By Tom Lamar -

According to the News & Advance, the first customer behind the Babcock & Wilcox Co.’s mPower modular reactor design has taken a key early step seeking regulatory approval for up to six reactors.B&W mPower Reactor

On Nov. 5, Tennessee Valley Authority sent regulators a “key assumptions letter,” which begins a more serious dialogue about how to proceed with licensing a new nuclear plant.

TVA has not made a firm decision to build any B&W mPower reactors, but the letter states it could seek construction permits for up to six of the small reactors near Oak Ridge, Tenn.

“We state in this letter what we’re assuming going forward with the licensing,” said TVA spokesman Terry Johnson. “We’re establishing a mutual understanding with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the licensing process to be followed.”

“It’s a good first step on TVA’s part,” said Rick Bonsall, vice president, B&W mPower business development.

B&W announced last year that it would develop a small, modular reactor rated at 125 megawatts. The design and testing process is centered in Lynchburg and will include a prototype reactor in Bedford County.

B&W and the construction firm Bechtel have formed an alliance called Generation mPower to promote the new design.

TVA is evaluating the mPower reactor for its Clinch River nuclear plant in Tennessee.

Johnson said TVA needs to finish several feasibility studies before choosing whether to actually order a reactor.

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