The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) (NYSE: BWC) is pleased to announce that the production-standard control room prototype for its B&W mPower™ small modular reactor (SMR) is now operational. This engineering simulator is a key milestone in the B&W mPower development program.
The B&W mPower control room prototype, located in Lynchburg, Va., is built to the same production specifications as that which will control the two reactors in an actual B&W mPower SMR control room. The control room is connected to a plant engineering simulator to allow validation of the man-machine interfaces and operating controls architecture. Initially, the control room will help the B&W mPower design team to effectively incorporate lessons learned from real world operating experience, and discover any design issues early in the development cycle, reducing B&W mPower development risk and cost. As the B&W mPower program moves closer to deployment, the control room will be used to train future reactor operators.
“Completing the control room prototype at this stage of B&W mPower development program allows us to begin an intensive testing and development of the training program well in advance of deployment,” said Christofer Mowry, President, Babcock & Wilcox mPower, Inc. “Having the ability to train operators two to three years ahead of commercial operation will keep us on the critical path toward timely development and operation at our Clinch River project by 2021.”
The facility will be used by about two dozen engineers, creating new jobs starting next year. Using their experience operating existing reactors, these engineers will refine B&W mPower plant system design and the reactors response to a variety of anticipated and postulate events.
The B&W mPower control room design is intended to optimize licensed reactor operator staffing levels by utilizing state-of-art, human-focused design principles to reduce the potential for errors. The control room prototype is located at B&W’s Lynchburg facility, the primary reactor and component design and testing location for the mPower America team.