June 24th, 2013
First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Headed for TennesseeBy Kent Harrington | 66269Comments (3)First+Small+Modular+Nuclear+Reactor+Headed+for+Tennessee2013-06-24+06%3A00%3A02Kent+Harringtonhttp%3A%2F%2Fchenected.aiche.org%2F%3Fp%3D66269
Maybe the U.S. nuclear renaissance hasn't fizzeled. Maybe the whole paradigm has simply shifted away from building single 1,000+ megawatt behemoths, to mass producing small modular reactors ranging in size from 45 to 300 megawatts. Just months after Babcock & Wilcox signed an agreement with the DOE that started federal funds flowing into their mPower small modular reactor project, engineers will begin drilling core samples, and determining geologic, hydrologic and seismic conditions near the Clinch River in Tennessee – hich are the initial steps before building the world's first commercial small modular nuclear reactor for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Under the agreement, the DOE will provide mPower with $79 million the first year, and $226 million or more in federal funding could be available, subject to further appropriations from Congress. "This award represents another key milestone in the work to establish the world's first commercially viable SMR nuclear plant," said E. James Ferland, President and Chief Executive Officer of B&W. Looking back, the momentum for all things small started after Fukushima but took off last year when the DOE announced it would provide $452 million in matching grants to companies developing small modular reactors. Then last November it announced the first winner, Babcock & Wilcox, a respected maker of nuclear reactors for Navy ships and submarines (mPower website).