TVA signs letter of intent for six MPower modular reactors to be built by 2020

Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, Inc., has signed a letter of intent with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) that defines the project plans and associated conditions for designing, licensing and constructing up to six B&W mPower small modular reactors (SMRs) at TVA’s Clinch River site in Roane County, Tennessee.

Generation mPower LLC (GmP), a majority-owned subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, is a company formed by affiliates of B&W and Bechtel Power Corporation to design, license and build the world’s first commercially viable Generation III++ small modular nuclear power plant based on B&W mPower SMR technology.

GmP remains on track to deploy the first B&W mPower reactor by 2020 at TVA’s Clinch River site. The B&W mPower Integrated System Test facility in Virginia is expected to begin a three-year project later this summer to collect data to verify the reactor design and safety performance in support of licensing activities. TVA plans to submit a Construction Permit Application to the NRC in 2012, and GmP plans to submit a Design Certification Application to the NRC in 2013.

* mPower small reactor, a 125 MW LWR design that is still being completed on the drawing boards in Lynchburg, VA.

* The 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

* 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: less than 14mpa (2000psia), ~600K (620F)core outlet 
Steam conditions: less than 7MPa (1000psia), superheated 
Reactor vessel diameter: ~3.6m (12ft) 
Height: ~22m (70ft) 
Fuel assemblies Sixty-nine 17x17, uranium dioxide 
Height: ~half of standard fuel assembly 
Fuel assembly pitch: 21.5cm 
Active core height: ~200cm 
Core diameter (flat to flat): ~200cm 
Fuel inventory: less than 20t 
Average specific power: ~20kW/kgU 
Core average fuel burnup: less than 40GWd/tU 
Target fuel cycle length: ~5 years 
Maximum enrichment: less  than 5% 
Reactivity control: Control rods 
Other features: No soluble boron, air cooled condenser,spent fuel stored in containment for 60 year design life 

Previously TVA was evaluating the feasibliity in Nov 2010

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