US BWX Technologies (BWXT) has been awarded the second phase of a contract with the Wyoming Energy Authority to assess the viability of deploying small-scale nuclear reactors in the state. The total value of the cost-share programme is approximately $20m, and phase two of the program is expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2025.

During the first phase, BWXT Advanced Technologies worked with the Wyoming Energy Authority to define the requirements for nuclear applications of base heat and power needs for remote, off-grid applications. BWXT also performed microreactor system engineering work to support Wyoming’s future power needs and identified areas where the supply chain could demonstrate capabilities for reactor component manufacture and support reactor deployment.

The second phase of the contract includes completing conceptual design of a lead microreactor unit, developing a regulatory engagement plan and microreactor fleet model, and demonstrating the Wyoming supply chain’s ability to manufacture nuclear components.

“BWXT has seen extraordinary support for the opportunities for microreactor deployment in Wyoming,” said BWXT Advanced Technologies President Joe Miller. “Our meetings with numerous stakeholders have been very productive, and our workshops in Gillette, Cheyenne and Casper with potential local vendors have been well-attended.”

Rob Creager, Executive Director of the Wyoming Energy Authority said completion of phase one “confirms our vision of why nuclear has so much potential in Wyoming – from uranium production to manufacturing to industrial applications”.

To support the programme, BWXT is leveraging US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) achievements through the company’s collaboration with Idaho National Laboratory (INL) as well as internal BWXT research and development investments. Through ARDP, BWXT and DOE have been developing the BWXT Advanced Nuclear Reactor (BANR) microreactor since 2021. INL has been providing strategic and technical support to the State of Wyoming under a memorandum of understanding signed in 2022.

In April, L&H Industrial and BWXT Advanced Technologies signed a Joint Development Agreement aimed at deploying microreactors to provide heat and power for industrial users. This collaborative effort will focus on the development and potential deployment of BANR in cogeneration sets starting with Wyoming and neighbouring states.