The U.S. Department of Energy last year implemented a private-public partnership program to license small modular reactor designs. Babcock & Wilcox Co., in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Bechtel International, won DOE’s first award for developing and deploying small reactor technology. Following is a statement from the Nuclear Energy Institute.

"Small, scalable reactors hold great potential for our nation. This innovative technology is supported by nearly 4,000 combined reactor-years of operating experience in the United States.

"Small reactor concepts offer the promise of reducing greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions from the electric, transport and industrial sectors. They can generate electricity for remote locations and provide secure electricity to our military bases. They can be added as needed to match growth in electricity demand. And by powering desalinization, they can produce vast quantities of drinking fresh drinking water. The ability to build small reactors in controlled manufacturing facilities, greatly improving quality control and reducing production time, is another advantage that adds to the technology’s potential for rapid commercialization.

"This action by Babcock & Wilcox demonstrates the maturation of its small reactor project. It is a timely step to keep the project on track with the resources and assets it will need for wide commercialization. As the United States advances this exciting new technology, thousands of jobs will be created. Babcock & Wilcox already has more than 600 employees working to develop the advanced mPower reactor design."