Thursday, September 29, 2011

Babcock and Wilcox Moves Ahead With mPower Small Modular Reactor

B&W mPower SMR

Small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) are poised to change the world of power and energy -- if the US government Nuclear Regulatory Commission will do its job of fairly licensing the safe, clean, new nuclear reactors. Instead, developers of newer, safer reactors must jump through hoops, spend exorbitant fees, and wait many years or decades before the fat and lazy NRC will get off its ass and get to work.

One US company -- Babcock and Wilcox -- is apparently willing to spend the money, do the work, and put in the many years it will take to get the NRC to perform like a responsible public service agency. Here is one of the important first steps the company is taking to get its SMR -- the mPower reactor -- licensed:
The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) and Generation mPower LLC
(Generation mPower) will dedicate the unique B&W mPower(TM) Integrated System Test (IST) facility in Bedford County, Va., at a ceremony today. The facility is located at the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) at the New London Business & Technology Center.

The facility contains a prototype of the B&W mPower reactor that will undergo extensive testing to collect data to verify the reactor's design and safety performance in support of Generation mPower's ongoing licensing activities with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The primary technical features of the B&W mPower reactor are included in the IST, although the source of energy is electricity rather than nuclear.

The IST facility supports further development of the B&W mPower reactor technology that represents a new generation of smaller, scalable nuclear power plants. This world-class testing facility was made possible in part by generous support from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission (TICRC), which provided more than $7 million in grants to support construction of the facility and the purchase of process equipment.

"B&W and Generation mPower appreciate the support from all of those involved as we establish this key element of the B&W mPower reactor program," said Brandon C. Bethards, President and Chief Executive Officer of B&W. "The IST facility will allow us the opportunity to demonstrate to the world the value of small modular reactors as a practical and affordable choice for nuclear power generation. Today's dedication marks another step in our progress toward commercializing small modular reactor technology."

Christofer Mowry, President of Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy. Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Generation mPower, said, "We continue to see tremendous interest from potential customers in the United States and abroad for our small modular reactor. Generation mPower is working to meet a need for a reliable, carbon-free power source that can be deployed at a new site or replace an aging facility in North America or overseas."

The multi-year testing program is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2011. _MarketWatch

B&W will be lucky to get its reactor licensed before the year 2020. One of the essential changes within the US government will be the ejection of the Obama regime and its energy starvation agenda, and the replacement of NRC Chairman Jaczko with a person of more expertise, integrity, and impartiality.

As long as Obama is not re-elected, reason is likely to win over leftist prejudice and energy starvation. Eventually, SMRs and other safe, advanced nuclear reactor designs, will receive their licenses, go into production, and change the global face of energy.

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