B&W, DOE reach deal on small modular reactor funding

Babcock & Wilcox mPower Inc. and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) signed a cooperative agreement for funding made available through DOE's Small Modular Reactor Licensing Technical Support Program for the development and licensing of B&W's mPower technology.

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 about $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 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 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 America Project was achieved in February when B&W mPower and TVA signed a contract to prepare and support the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) review of a construction permit application for a B&W mPower nuclear plant at TVA's Clinch River Site.

With the agreement signed, geological characterization studies will commence at the Clinch River Site within about 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.

The B&W mPower reactor is an advanced integral pressurized water reactor designed to generate 180 MW of electricity. The reactor incorporates technology innovations which advance the in nuclear plant safety, security and economics.

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