US nuclear contractor Bechtel has entered a formal alliance with Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy to design, licence and build the small 125MW mPower reactor. The alliance is called Generation mPower.

mPower reactor vessel

mPower reactor vessel

Babcock & Wilcox has set up an industry consortium that includes TVA, and FirstEnergy. Twelve additional utilities are joining, announced B&W NE president Chris Mowry, including Sunflower Electric Power Corp of Kansas.

“Before Generation mPower, and before the innovations mPower offers to energy industry, utilities such as Sunflower Electric Power Corp had no practical means to afford its own nuclear plant,” Mowry said.

“It is atypical for Bechtel to link to a technology,” said Jack Futcher, president of Bechtel power business, but the advantages of the product outweighed its concerns. He called the mPower the most ‘commercially viable’ of all the small and medium reactors.

He said that the consortium would offer a ‘seamless delivery model’ that matches the technology experience and manufacturing of B&W, which makes reactors for US Navy nuclear submarines, and Bechtel’s experience in EPC delivery [engineering, procurement and construction].

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