BWXT awarded microreactor evaluation contract for Wyoming

June 21, 2024, 7:03AMNuclear News
Concept art of BWXT’s BANR microreactor. (Source: BWXT)

BWX Technologies Inc. received the second phase of a contract with the Wyoming Energy Authority to assess the viability of deploying small-scale nuclear reactors in the state.

The company’s subsidiary, BWXT Advanced Technologies LLC, has been executing the agreement, working with the state of Wyoming to define the requirements for nuclear applications and to study the engineering work needed to support the state’s future power needs. BWXT identified areas where Wyoming’s supply chain could support nuclear reactor component manufacturing.

During this second phase, BWXT Advanced Technologies will complete a conceptual design of a lead microreactor unit and further demonstrate that Wyoming’s supply chain can support small modular reactor components. The total value of the cost-share program is approximately $20 million, and phase two is expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2025.

Quotable: “BWXT has seen extraordinary support for the opportunities for microreactor deployment in Wyoming,” said Joe Miller, president of BWXT Advanced Technologies. “Our meetings with numerous stakeholders have been very productive, and our workshops in Gillette, Cheyenne, and Casper with potential local vendors have been well attended. We look forward to taking this next step forward.”

The project: BWXT is leveraging existing U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program achievements through the company’s partnership with Idaho National Laboratory and other internal BWXT research and development investments. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with Wyoming in 2022.

Through this public-private collaboration, BWXT has been developing the BANR—BWXT Advanced Nuclear Reactor—microreactor since 2021, and this effort in Wyoming represents an acceleration of BWXT’s commercial nuclear development efforts.

“We are eager to move forward with phase two of our contract with BWXT. The completion of phase one confirms our vision of why nuclear has so much potential in Wyoming—from uranium production to manufacturing to industrial applications,” said Rob Creager, executive director of the Wyoming Energy Authority. “As the world’s demand for reliable, affordable baseload power only increases over the next fifty years, we see nuclear as a valuable investment to Wyoming’s already robust energy portfolio.”

“The landscape of economic opportunity related to nontraditional application of nuclear energy is evolving quickly, with significant opportunities firming in regional, national, and global markets,” said Steven Aumeier, senior advisor for strategic programs at INL.

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