TerraPower signs up Babcock & Wilcox for traveling wave reactor development

18 February 2014

Traveling Wave Reactor (Source: TerraPower)

TerraPower has signed a memorandum of understanding with The Babcock & Wilcox Company to support the development of TerraPower's Generation IV traveling wave reactor (TWR).

B&W said it will provide TerraPower with services and programme 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.

The TWR commercial reactor plant design is a 1150 megawatt liquid sodium-cooled fast reactor that uses depleted uranium as fuel.This innovative design allows for the use of depleted uranium generated by the enrichment process used for existing light water reactors fuelled 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 said that unlike B&W's Generation III small modular reactor (SMR), mPower which is based on PWR technology and standard fuel enriched to 5%, TerraPower's TWR is a larger reactor based on Generation IV technology and designed to use depleted uranium as fuel.

"B&W's valuable involvement with TerraPower includes work done through affiliate Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. for development of the TWR fuel supply chain," said Doug Adkisson, Senior Vice President, TerraPower. "This MOU with B&W makes it possible for us to tap the nuclear industry's excellence and keep American companies active in the international supply chain for advanced nuclear energy technologies."

Photo: Diagram of Traveling Wave Reactor (Source: TerraPower)

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