B&W to open mPower test centre in Virginia

29 July 2010

The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) has decided to build a B&W mPower Integrated System Test (IST) facility in Bedford County, Virginia. The facility will be located at the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER), currently being constructed at the New London Business & Technology Center.

The IST facility will include a scaled prototype of the B&W mPower reactor that will undergo extensive testing. All of the technical features of the B&W mPower integral reactor are included in the IST, although the source of energy is electric rather than nuclear. This three-year initiative will collect data to verify the reactor design and safety performance, supporting B&W’s licensing activities with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

B&W selected the CAER for the IST test facility after an extensive evaluation of various sites. One of the key factors in the decision was a $2.4 million grant provided by the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission (TICRC).

B&W and Bechtel Power Corporation recently announced a formal alliance, called Generation mPower, to design, license and deploy B&W mPower nuclear power plants. B&W will focus on designing and testi the reactor, including the design certification application development and submission. Bechtel will complement these responsibilities with integrated engineering and project management leadership.

The IST programme is expected to create a number of construction jobs in the near term and a minimum of 10 permanent, full-time positions during the testing phase. Once testing concludes, B&W anticipates using the facility for on-going training of utility professionals who would be operating B&W mPower reactors.

B&W anticipates the IST facility will be operational in 2011.

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