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BWXT Subsidiary Secures Contract Amendment from Battelle Energy to Manufacture TRISO Nuclear Fuel

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BWX Technologies has received a $4.9 million amendment from Battelle Energy Alliance to their existing contract to produce TRISO nuclear fuel. The total contract value now stands at $31.2 million.

The amendment’s terms require Nuclear Operations Group, a subsidiary of BWXT, to manufacture natural uranium TRISO particles in an undisclosed quantity and on an established timeline, the Lynchburg, Virginia-based company said Monday.

The original contract, which was announced in July 2020, enabled BWXT to enlarge its TRISO manufacturing facilities and upgrade its equipment in order to meet fuel demands from the Department of Defense and NASA.

Joel Duling, BWXT Nuclear Operations Group president, shared that he feels the company is facing a “growing market for TRISO and specialty fuels” that it is prepared to service.

BWXT is the sole U.S. company that produces irradiation-tested uranium oxycarbide TRISO fuel with production-scale means. TRISO is an abbreviation of TRIstructural-ISOtopic, a particular design of uranium nuclear reactor fuel. It has certain safety and utilization benefits.

The contract is funded by the DoD Operational Energy Capabilities Improvement Fund Office and NASA. Overall program management is handled by the DoD Strategic Capabilities Office.

Battelle Energy Alliance is the DoE-backed administration behind Idaho National Laboratory.

Duling also noted that BWXT is “uniquely positioned to capture additional work in fueling, designing and manufacturing microreactors.”

An example of this can be found in another project the company is working on for the Department of Energy and Department of Defense, mapping TRISO-fueled microreactors.

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