The Babcock & Wilcox Co. has officially opened a fuel technology center in Lynchburg that will be used in developing the company’s new small modular nuclear reactor;.
The advanced manufacturing technologies B&W will use to produce nuclear fuel for its B&W mPower reactor will be developed and qualified at the fuel technology center. Longer term, the technologies developed at the center will give the company the ability to support the manufacture of fuel for other reactors.
The new facility marks the third major infrastructure development project in Virginia related to the mPower reactor, including the establishment of a design office in 2010 and an Integrated System Test facility last year.
The fuel technology center has three primary missions:
• Develop and demonstrate key fabrication technologies and processes needed for the planned manufacture of B&W mPower reactor fuel and fuel-related components.
• Fabricate production-representative prototype fuel assemblies and individual components in order to support the fuel design, testing and licensing process.
• Serve as the materials test facility for engineers to evaluate the mechanical performance of both complete fuel assemblies and individual assembly components.
To date, Charlotte, N.C.-based B&W has invested more than $5 million in the fuel technology center.
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