Lynchburg, Va.-based Babcock & Wilcox will work with FirstEnergy, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Oglethorpe Power to place its small-scale, 125-MW modular nuclear unit, called mPower, into operation by 2020, says Chris Mowry, CEO of B&W Modular Nuclear Energy LLC. The company and the utilities, which announced their consortium on Feb. 17, will work with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to modify the licensing process for the modular reactors. None of the companies working with B&W has agreed to buy its reactor because “we really need to get deeper insight on this thing, where and how exactly to deploy,” says
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.