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Industry News

B&W and FirstEnergy Announce Plans to Evaluate Deployment of Small Modular Reactors

LCG, July 26, 2012--The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) and FirstEnergy Corp. announced yesterday that FirstEnergy and a B&W subsidiary, Generation mPower LLC (GmP), executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding studies to develop small modular reactors in FirstEnergy's service territory, which includes regions in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

The announcement states that FirstEnergy and GmP plan to work together to perform an independent financial review of mPower economics, evaluate alternative sites for construction of the B&W mPower plants, complete a preliminary pre-licensing analysis, and assess the need and schedule for deployment of B&W mPower plants by FirstEnergy.

The B&W mPower small modular reactor (SMR) is an advanced nuclear reactor with a design that uses a fully underground containment structure and provides an electric generating capacity of 180 MWe, in contrast to reactors in the approval process now with capacities of 1,000 MWe or more.

The SMR offers a lower project cost due to its smaller size and because roughly 70 percent of the reactor and its systems are contained within the unit and built in the factory. Moreover, the smaller size provide the potential to deploy the SMRs at aging coal-fired power plant sites, where coal-fired units are approaching retirement, and remaining utility infrastructure may be of value in developing the SMR.

The President of FirstEnergy Generation and Chief Nuclear Officer stated, "Our agreement today is an outgrowth of the company's involvement with B&W's consortium to promote the development of small modular reactors. Completing these studies will help us determine how B&W small modular reactors may be part of our long term generation planning."

The President and Chief Executive Officer of GmP said, "This cooperative effort with FirstEnergy demonstrates growing interest in our B&W mPower SMR as a clean, efficient and affordable power generation option. B&W has a long history of working in Ohio, and our employees in the state have an important role in the development of safer, more secure nuclear technology. We appreciate FirstEnergy's industry leadership, and look forward to working closely with them to complete these studies."

Ohio's two senators also applauded the MOU and the commitment to advanced, clean energy development and the related jobs the project could bring to Ohio.
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