Clean energy center opens in Lynchburg

The Babcock & Wilcox Co., one of America’s foremost developers of clean energy technology, announced today the opening of the B&W mPowerTM Fuel Technology Center, an advanced nuclear fuel fabrication technology development facility in Lynchburg.

B&W’s Fuel Technology Center in Lynchburg will bring a dozen new direct jobs to the region, and benefit the local economy by fabricating most of the custom equipment for the facility locally. Importantly, it will help lay the foundation for significant potential investment and job growth in Virginia in the future, to serve both the U.S. and global energy markets. Senior Economic Advisor Bob Sledd represented Gov. Bob McDonnell at the official opening ceremony.

“Today’s ribbon-cutting marks an important step forward in Virginia’s position on the cutting edge of the development of nuclear energy,” said Gov. McDonnell. “This Fuel Technology Center will create direct and indirect jobs and opportunities for Virginians, and holds great potential for future growth in the Lynchburg area. I congratulate The Babcock & Wilcox Company and the many Virginians who have worked together to open this facility and I thank B&W for its continued commitment to the Commonwealth.”

The center marks the third major development in Virginia related to B&W’s small modular reactor program since 2010, including a dedicated design facility and Integrated Systems Test facility.  These developments, supported in part by grant funding for the IST facility from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Revitalization Commission, have already created about 150 technology jobs in the state.  In addition, 29 Virginia supplier companies are poised to supply the B&W mPower reactor program as it moves from design to manufacturing.

Advances in reactor technology, along with the widespread demand for clean, affordable, and domestic energy resources, have motivated the development of a new generation of commercial nuclear power around the world.  Much of that research and development is happening here in Virginia, a state committed to energy technology development.

Recently, the B&W team in Virginia and several other states applied for a new federal partnership program with the U.S. Department of Energy to support the development of SMRs.  Governor McDonnell added, “The work being done by this team in Lynchburg is important to the nation.  I hope that the Department of Energy will support their efforts to further expand development of the next generation of advanced nuclear power.”

Reflecting the importance of this new facility and its research, McDonnell asked his senior economic advisor Bob Sledd to help cut the ribbon on the new facility.  His delegation joins U.S. Congressman Bob Goodlatte, several local officials and Chris Mowry, the President of Babcock & Wilcox mPower, Inc. to celebrate this milestone.


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