Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Babcock & Wilcox Tout Smaller Nuclear Reactor

Babcock & Wilcox is touting a new type of smaller nuclear reactor that is one tenth the cost of a big plant.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, First Energy Corp. and Oglethorpe Power Corporation have signed an agreement Babcock & Wilcom to get the new reactor approved for commercial use in the U.S. from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The smaller Babcox & Wilcox reactor can generate only 125 to 140 megawatts of power, about a tenth as much as a big one.

It is estimated that large reactors will cost about $10 billion. Small reactors are expected to cost about $5,000 per kilowatt of capacity, or $750 million or so for one of Babcock & Wilcox's units. (WSJ, 2/18/10)

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