Executive Insight, Nuclear, Policy & Regulation

B&W to scale back small modular nuclear reactor program

The Babcock & Wilcox Co. (B&W) is announcing plans to restructure its mPower Small Modular Reactor program to focus on technology development.

B&W continues to believe in the strength of the mPower technology, but without the ability to secure additional investors or customer engineering, procurement and construction contracts to provide the financial support necessary to develop and deploy mPower reactors, the current development pace will be slowed.

“The B&W mPower reactor can play a significant role in meeting our country’s climate change goals, energy needs, and support U.S. job and manufacturing growth,” said E. James Ferland, President and CEO of B&W. “We look forward to working with our stakeholders and partners in the continued development of this important technology.”

B&W notified the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) April 9 of its plans for reduced spending, indicating it would work with the DOE and other stakeholders during the next one to two months to confirm the best path forward to develop a mutually agreeable plan including program milestones for continuing the cost-shared industry partnership program. B&W expects to invest up to $15 million annually, beginning the third quarter of 2014.