The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) (NYSE: BWC) announced today that its subsidiary, Babcock & Wilcox mPower, Inc. (B&W mPower), and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have signed a contract to prepare and support Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) review of a Construction Permit Application for a B&W mPower™ small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear plant at TVA's Clinch River Site in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
This contract formalizes the first steps toward the anticipated B&W mPower deployment at Clinch River, as contemplated in TVA's May 2011 Letter of Intent to B&W for the project. It also represents the first definitive milestone in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) recently initiated SMR Licensing Technical Support Program for commercial demonstration of SMRs by 2022. The DOE selected B&W mPower in November 2012 as the recipient of the Program's competitively bid cost-share funding grant.
Work at the Clinch River site will commence once B&W mPower and the DOE sign a cooperative agreement for the grant funds. The contract defines the respective responsibilities and work scopes for TVA and B&W to conduct the Clinch River Site geological characterization, develop a Preliminary Safety Analysis Report, and prepare an Environmental Assessment for deploying up to four mPower SMR reactors. TVA currently expects to submit the Construction Permit Application to the NRC in 2015.
"This agreement between TVA and Babcock & Wilcox represents an important step toward TVA's inclusion of small modular reactors as a source of exactly the kind of clean, reliable, safe, and low-cost electricity the Tennessee Valley needs to attract good jobs," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).“Today’s agreement is another positive step toward deployment of this breakthrough reactor technology in Tennessee that will hopefully be the beginning of a new surge in safe, clean and affordable nuclear power,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). “I’m proud to represent a state that is playing a leading role in advancing proven technologies that will improve our energy security and make our country stronger."