Charlotte, N.C., April 11, 2011 — The Babcock & Wilcox Co. received a $5 million grant from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission for its Integrated System Test facility in Bedford County, Va.
The facility is located at the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research, currently being constructed at the New London Business and Technology Center.
The grant supports further development of the B&W mPower reactor that represents a new generation of smaller, scalable nuclear power plants on track to be deployed by 2020. Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, Inc. and Bechtel Power Corp. have formed a joint company, Generation mPower LLC, to design, license and build the next generation of nuclear power plants based on B&W mPower reactor technology.
The test program will collect data to verify the reactor design and safety performance in support of B&W's licensing activities with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. B&W anticipates the facility will begin testing activities later this summer.
"B&W is pleased to receive continued support from the Virginia Tobacco Commission and CAER as we establish a world-class testing facility in Bedford County," said Christofer Mowry, B&W NE President. "This facility will play a vitally important role in testing, licensing activities and demonstrating the maturity of the design for the B&W mPower reactor, while strengthening Central Virginia's reputation as a premier region for innovation in nuclear technology."
This is the second grant the Virginia TICRC has awarded for design and construction of B&W's IST facility. In July 2010, B&W announced a $2.4 million grant from the commission to support construction.
The additional $5 million is designated for process equipment to support operation of a scaled prototype of the B&W mPower reactor. All of the technical features of B&W's mPower reactor are included in the IST, although the source of energy is electricity rather than nuclear.