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The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) (NYSE:BWC) was joined by Representative Bob Goodlatte (VA-6) and Bob Sledd, Senior Economic Advisor to the Governor of Virginia, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at the new B&W mPower™ Fuel Technology Center (FTC) in Lynchburg, Va. The advanced manufacturing technologies B&W will use to produce nuclear fuel for its B&W mPower small modular reactor (SMR) will be developed and qualified at the FTC. Longer term, the technologies developed at the FTC give B&W the ability to support the manufacture of fuel for other reactors.
This newly dedicated facility marks the third major infrastructure development project in Virginia related to the B&W mPower reactor, including the establishment of a dedicated design office in 2010 and an Integrated System Test facility in 2011.
The FTC has three primary missions:
Develop and demonstrate key fabrication technologies and processes needed for the planned manufacture of B&W mPower reactor fuel and fuel-related components
Fabricate production-representative prototype fuel assemblies and individual components in order to support the fuel design, testing and licensing process
Serve as the materials test facility for engineers to evaluate the mechanical performance of both complete fuel assemblies and individual assembly components
Christofer M. Mowry, President of Babcock & Wilcox mPower, Inc., said, “Bringing a viable, proven SMR design to market requires an investment in facilities needed to qualify and manufacture reactor components. B&W is proud to add this dedicated facility to our robust B&W mPower development infrastructure. Our operational testing and manufacturing facilities, design maturity and unparalleled depth of industry partnerships are important reasons why the B&W mPower reactor is receiving strong interest from customers both domestically and abroad.”
Representative Goodlatte said, “B&W has a long history of nuclear manufacturing innovation, and today’s ceremony demonstrates how the company continues to stay on the cutting edge of energy technology development and deployment. The fact that this new facility will add more than a dozen high-tech jobs to the hundreds already created by B&W to develop their SMR program clearly demonstrates how a U.S. company can keep good-paying jobs at home and further develop our nation’s advanced manufacturing infrastructure.”