B&W, TerraPower collaborate on nuclear energy systems

The Babcock & Wilcox Co. (B&W) and TerraPower have signed a memorandum of understanding to support the development of TerraPower’s Generation IV traveling wave reactor, a safe, economic and sustainable nuclear energy system that uses advanced materials for more durable metallic fuels and supercomputing for comprehensive modeling.

The TWR commercial reactor plant design is a 1,150 MW liquid sodium-cooled fast reactor that uses depleted uranium as fuel. This design allows for the use of depleted uranium generated by the enrichment process used for existing light water reactors fueled with enriched uranium. With the conceptual design phase under way, B&W will provide support to TerraPower as the project enters the preliminary design phase.

B&W will provide TerraPower with services and program support in multiple areas, which may include design and fabrication of engineered components; fuel fabrication process development, prototype fabrication, fuel services; reactor design engineering; reactor operations support; staff augmentation, both U.S. and foreign assignment; engineering services; flow loop testing; licensing support; and materials testing. Through this MOU and the agreement the parties are currently working on, B&W will be recognized as a strategic technology supplier, while TerraPower continues its design work and prepares to commercialize the reactor globally.

Unlike B&W’s Generation III++ small modular reactor (SMR), mPower which is based on PWR technology and standard fuel enriched to 5 percent, TerraPower’s TWR is a larger reactor based on Generation IV technology and designed to use depleted uranium as fuel.

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