New Projects, Reactors

B&W, DOE ink SMR funding deal for mPower

Babcock & Wilcox mPower small modular reactors nuclear Department of Energy TVA Clinch River site Bechtel

The Babcock & Wilcox Co. (B&W, NYSE: BWC) announced today that it and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have signed a funding agreement made available through DOE’s Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Licensing Technical Support Program for the development and licensing of B&W’s mPower SMR.

The $79 million allocated for the first year of the program will be immediately available to the B&W mPower program. While the DOE has projected that approximately $150 million will be made available during the five-year period of the DOE award, subject to incremental appropriations from Congress and B&W mPower’s compliance with the terms of the Cooperative Agreement, the agreement allows for $226 million or more in federal funding. B&W mPower intends to use any additional funding made available on a cost-shared basis for licensing and engineering activities that qualify under this award.

“The Department is pleased to complete this important step in our SMR Licensing Technical Support Program,” said Dr. Peter Lyons, U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy. “Our work with B&W mPower will help advance the commercialization of safe and efficient SMRs in the United States. U.S.-built SMRs have the potential to cost-effectively support our nation’s energy and climate goals while boosting U.S. manufacturing capabilities and job growth.”

The signing of the Cooperative Agreement formalizes B&W’s cost-share agreement with DOE, following the selection of the mPower America team – comprised of B&W, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Generation mPower – as the winner of DOE’s competitively bid funding opportunity, in support of commercial demonstration of the B&W mPower SMR by 2022. B&W mPower and Bechtel, who together formed Generation mPower LLC, will provide licensing and engineering support for the mPower America Project.

The first key step for the mPower project was achieved in February when B&W mPower and TVA signed a contract to prepare and support the Nuclear Regulatory Commission review of a Construction Permit Application for a B&W mPower nuclear plant at TVA’s Clinch River Site. With the signing of the Cooperative Agreement, geological characterization studies will commence at the Clinch River Site within approximately six weeks. The mPower America team will also develop a Preliminary Safety Analysis Report, a Design Certification Application for the mPower Plant and a Construction Permit Application for up to four mPower SMR units.

Subscribe to Nuclear Power International magazine