U.S. Department of Energy ARDP Contracting Finalized; On Track to Deliver TRISO Fuel for Testing
(LYNCHBURG, Va. – April 11, 2022) – BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT) is proceeding apace to deliver microreactors to commercial power and industrial customers in cooperation with Idaho National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The company’s BANR (BWXT Advanced Nuclear Reactor) is a transportable microreactor using TRISO fuel and was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP). BWXT is focusing on aggressive cost reductions for deploying this transportable microreactor through performance improvements and lower delivery costs. Subsidiary BWXT Advanced Technologies LLC (BWXT AT) has finalized its formal cost-sharing contracting with the DOE and is on track to deliver the first round of BANR’s TRISO fuel for testing at Idaho National Laboratory’s Advanced Test Reactor in 2024 as scheduled.
Testing at Idaho National Laboratory will provide important operational data on the performance of TRISO fuel particles. When complete, the project will have matured technologies related to key reactor safety systems in order to improve the overall economics for deployment.
This data is critical for approval by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and transition to deployment. BWXT AT is also partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the development of advanced modeling and simulation tools and manufacturing processes.
“We’re making a lot of progress in this program, and I’m very proud of the engineers and technicians who are keeping our reactor design and fuel development processes focused on deployment and stimulating demand in the advanced reactor market,” said Joe Miller, BWXT AT president. “Our collaboration with the national laboratories represents a longstanding commitment to delivering cutting-edge technologies that improve reactor performance and operation.”
The DOE Office of Nuclear Energy’s ARDP cost-share arrangement is designed to help domestic, private industry demonstrate commercially viable advanced nuclear reactors in the U.S. The DOE expects to invest approximately $600 million over seven years in the ARDP’s risk reduction pathway.
About TRISO Fuel
TRISO refers to a specific design of uranium nuclear reactor fuel that can withstand extreme heat and has very low environmental risks. A single TRISO particle is tiny – about the size of the tip of a ball-point pen. Every TRISO particle carries its own layered containment system to protect the environment and the public. Thousands of these particles are pressed into ‘compacts’ similar in size to a tube of lip balm. BWXT is the only U.S. company to manufacture irradiation-tested uranium oxycarbide TRISO fuel using production-scale equipment.
Forward Looking Statement
BWXT cautions that this release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the performance, timing, impact and value, to the extent contract value can be viewed as an indicator of future revenues, of the microreactor design project and future investment. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, modification or termination of the project and delays. If one or more of these or other risks materialize, actual results may vary materially from those expressed. For a more complete discussion of these and other risk factors, please see BWXT’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. BWXT cautions not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release, and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, except to the extent required by applicable law.
At BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT), we are People Strong, Innovation Driven. Headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia, BWXT is a Fortune 1000 and Defense News Top 100 manufacturing and engineering innovator that provides safe and effective nuclear solutions for global security, clean energy, environmental remediation, nuclear medicine and space exploration. With approximately 6,600 employees, BWXT has 12 major operating sites in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, BWXT joint ventures provide management and operations at more than a dozen U.S. Department of Energy and NASA facilities. Follow us on Twitter at @BWXT and learn more at www.bwxt.com.
About Idaho National Laboratory
Battelle Energy Alliance manages INL for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development, and also performs research in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and the environment. For more information, visit www.inl.gov. Follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.