US-based Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) has scaled back and restructured its mPower Small Modular Reactor development programme. From the third quarter of 2014 B&W now expects to invest up to $15 million annually.

B&W said that "without the ability to secure significant additional investors or customer engineering, procurement and construction contracts to provide the financial support necessary to develop and deploy mPower reactors, the current development pace will be slowed".

The mPower is a Generation 3++ integral PWR technology with a fully underground containment structure. That would use fuel enriched to 5%.

B&W said it would work with the US Department of Energy during the next two months to develop "a mutually agreeable plan including programme milestones for continuing the cost-shared industry partnership programme". E. James Ferland, president and CEO of B&W, said "There is still significant work involved in bringing this climate-friendly technology to reality…We look forward to working with our stakeholders to find the most efficient way to move this technology toward licensing and deployment in the mid-2020 timeframe."