B&W, TVA contract for small modular nuclear reactor permit

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The Babcock & Wilcox Co. unit, Babcock & Wilcox mPower Inc., and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) 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 power plant at TVA's Clinch River Site in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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

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 a 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.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the U.S. that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity.

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