APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Babcock & Wilcox / mPower Test Facility

I note that while there was some buzz generated by the July 28 announcement that Babcock & Wilcox is going to construct a test facility for the new joint B&W / Bechtel modular reactor plant "mPower" concept, the actual test equipment will both be scaled down from actual size and will NOT be nuclear powered. Rather, the facility will use electric heat to simulate the nuclear primary heat, and will prove out the overall generation package.

Now, getting away from the news to opinion, I wonder to myself... "WHY?" Do we need to reinvent all of the technology and relearn the experience with modular plants that started with ALCO Products and Fort Belvoir, and with Argonne National Laboratory and its various projects, and ML-1 and on and on? No. Let's move forward faster, I say.

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