BWXT Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. (BWXT) will conduct this project at its unique facilities located near Lynchburg, Virginia


BWXT to manufacture HALEU feedstock for advanced reactors. (Credit: Joe from Pixabay)

BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT) announced a contract to process thousands of kilograms of government-owned scrap material containing enriched uranium that is unusable in its present form in order to produce more than two metric tons of feedstock that can be used for fuel to demonstrate advanced reactors and help decarbonize the U.S. power grid.

BWXT Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. (BWXT) will conduct this project at its unique facilities located near Lynchburg, Virginia. The final form of the processed material will be High Assay Low Enriched Uranium, more commonly known as HALEU. The initial award will total $47 million, with a total contract value of up to $116.5 million, subject to annual congressional appropriations.

“We are proud to partner with BWXT on this important initiative. The project will clear over two metric tons of scrap material from the Y-12 National Security Complex, contributing to ongoing efforts to reduce the material accountability and inventory totals at the site, while also supporting the Department’s advanced reactor demonstration projects,” said Jeff Chamberlin, Assistant Deputy Administrator for DOE/NNSA’s Office of Material Management and Minimization.

“We see tremendous value in partnering with the National Nuclear Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy in support of their clean energy programs,” said Sharon Smoot, President of BWXT Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. “Interest in, and demand for, advanced reactors continues to grow for both national security and clean energy applications. One of BWXT’s key roles in moving the nuclear industry forward is leveraging its specialty materials capabilities to support domestic HALEU needs for the next generation of nuclear reactors.”

This contract adds to BWXT’s ongoing work with the NNSA to build the company’s HALEU production capabilities in support of converting high performance research reactors from highly enriched uranium to HALEU.

Project & Contract Details

  • BWXT will produce over two metric tons of HALEU over the next five years, with several hundred kilograms expected to be available as early as 2024.
  • To support this program, BWXT plans to hire approximately 20 new operators, engineers and safety personnel at its Lynchburg-area facility.
  • The final product of the program will be HALEU feedstock in an oxide form at an enrichment level of 19.75%.
  • The scrap material to be provided by the NNSA is currently in a variety of forms and enrichment levels, and it has been collected by the government from a number of different sources, primarily at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

Source: Company Press Release