Tennessee Valley Authority takes first step to build six mPower mini nuclear reactors

The Tennessee Valley Authority has taken the first step toward gaining regulatory approval to build up to six new mini-nuclear reactors on the site of the abandoned Clinch River Breeder Reactor in Oak Ridge

The federal utility “is evaluating the feasibility” of erecting two of the new Babcock & Wilcox-designed “mPower reactors” by 2020. Each of the new reactors would produce 125 megawatts of electricity — about 10 percent as much as conventional reactors at TVA’s other plants — and could be built in controlled factory conditions to cut production costs and ensure construction quality.

The mPower reactor has been covered here

mPower technical details

* The mPower reactor will use 5% enriched uranium in fuel rod assemblies which are similar in design to those used in 1,000 MW plants.

* At a hypothetical price of $3,000/Kw, a single unit would cost $375 million

* One of the intended uses of the mPower reactor is to “repower carbon-intensive plants where the transmission and distribution infrastructure is already in place. (coal to nuclear ? )

* First units could be received by customers by 2018 and that the reactor can can be shipped by truck and rail to a customer site and installed below grade by skilled trades without complex training.

Reactor type: Integral PWR
Power: ~125MWe, ~400MWt
Reactor coolant:

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