TVA, B&W Sign Small Modular Reactor Agreement Under DOE Program

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Tennessee Valley Authority and Babcock & Wilcox announced Wednesday a major step in their joint effort to build and test the nation’s first small modular reactor at TVA’s Clinch River Site in Oak Ridge Tn.

TVA and B&W signed a contract on Feb. 7, formalizing the process toward the eventual submittal and Nuclear Regulatory Commission review of a licensing application for a B&W mPower small modular reactor nuclear plant at Clinch River.

The agreement is the first definitive milestone in the U.S. Department of Energy’s recently initiated SMR Licensing Technical Support Program, which aims for commercial demonstration of SMRs by 2022. DOE chose TVA in November for cost sharing in the design and licensing of the B&W mPower small modular reactor as part of the mPower America Team.

“TVA and B&W have now officially launched their team effort towards evaluating this new technology for the nuclear industry and starting the analysis process at TVA’s Clinch River Site,” said Dr. Joe Hoagland, TVA senior vice president for Policy and Oversight. “With strong support from DOE, we look forward to the successful development, demonstration, and analysis of SMR technology as a potential option to help TVA and the nation meet our clean-energy goals for the future.”

The contract also defines respective responsibilities and work scopes for TVA and B&W in preparing a license application for NRC review, including a Clinch River Site geological characterization, preliminary safety analysis report, and site environmental report.

Work under this contract will commence at the Clinch River Site once B&W mPower and DOE sign a cooperative agreement for the grant funds. The DOE program, which provides $452 million in funding over five years, has received more than $67 million in appropriations from Congress. Under the program, DOE will fund as much as 50 percent of the cost of design and licensing.

TVA is evaluating the Clinch River Site for potential deployment of up to four B&W SMRs. Some site characterization work is already under way as part of the license application preparation, expected to be submitted to the NRC in 2015.

B&W’s mPower reactor is being designed to produce 180 megawatts, about one-sixth the size of large light-water reactors being built today. More of the equipment will be constructed in factories and shipped by rail to the plant site, resulting in reduced construction time and more standardization from plant to plant.

Other potential benefits include fully underground containment for improved safety and security, and clean base-load generation capacity in smaller, more flexible, lower-cost increments.

TVA has been evaluating SMRs, one of its signature technologies, since 2009, but SMRs are still in the early phase of design and licensing. TVA’s nuclear construction project priority remains completion of Watts Bar Unit 2. As the Clinch River project matures, it will be evaluated at certain progress points to ensure its continuation makes sense for TVA.



Study Shows 60 Percent Of Low-Income Tennesseans Face Civil Legal Problems

A study commissioned by the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission and the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services with the support of the Tennessee Bar Association has found that more than 60 percent of vulnerable Tennesseans face a significant civil legal need. The goal of the study was to examine the effectiveness of delivering legal assistance to those in need. ... (click for more)

The Dixie Group Reports Formation Of Masland Hospitality

The Dixie Group announced the formation of Masland Hospitality, a new business will be led by Elizabeth Moore, vice president of Masland Hospitality. With Dixie’s recent acquisition of the assets of Burtco, LLC, a comprehensive offering of products will be available from Masland for the hospitality market. The product portfolio will include large scale public space patterns utilizing ... (click for more)

Kiser Takes Witness Stand For First Time; Says He Did Not Kill Deputy Donald Bond

Marlon Duane Kiser took the witness stand at his post-conviction hearing on Tuesday to declare that he did not kill Deputy Donald Bond, who was gunned down at a produce stand in East Brainerd 13 years ago. Kiser had not opted to go on the stand when he was convicted by a Nashville jury and given the death penalty in 2003. He said he believes it was Mike Chattin, the man he ... (click for more)

Courtney Godwin, 25, Was Victim In Monday Night Fire In Hixson

Chattanooga firefighters battled a fully-involved structure fire in Hixson Monday night, and the incident involved at least one fatality.  Dr. Steve Cogswell with the Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim as Courtney D. Godwin, 25. Dr. Cogswell said Ms. Godwin died from smoke inhalation.   The first call to 911 Communications was received ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State Faculty Has No Business Being Involved In Hiring Decisions

This letter will hopefully bring some clarity to the recent situation created by the faculty of Chattanooga State Community College. It is based upon my tenure as a member of the faculty at Chattanooga State Technical Institute, the transformation to Chattanooga State Community College, and my service as the financial and administrative officer at Chattanooga State until my retirement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Grand Thanksgiving Feast

I’m not really sure how it all came about but a few days before Thanksgiving last year, what was usually a crowded table had dwindled down to just Mother, Aunt Martha and me. Just the idea of getting dressed up made both of them tired, which happens when you are 89 and 87, respectively, and the thought of preparing the traditional feast brought only further groans so I announced ... (click for more)