Lehigh Heavy Forge and The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) announced a supply agreement for B&W mPower™ small modular reactor (SMR) forgings. Under terms of the agreement, Lehigh Heavy Forge and B&W plan to jointly participate in the fabrication and qualification of large forgings for nuclear reactor components intended to be used in the manufacture of B&W mPower SMRs. Prototype and standard forgings would be manufactured at Lehigh Heavy Forge's Bethlehem, Pa., facility as B&W moves into the component manufacturing phase of its program. The B&W-Lehigh team will be working to revitalize the U.S. manufacturing infrastructure needed to supply heavy forgings for the commercial nuclear power industry after a national capability gap of more than three decades.
Lehigh Heavy Forge will use the process of manufacturing prototype B&W mPower forgings to seek a Material Organization Quality System accreditation with ASME for future heavy component manufacturing. Lehigh Heavy Forge also plans to make additional facility upgrades to support future mPower reactor manufacturing needs. B&W was recently selected as the winner of the U.S. Department of Energy's Small Modular Reactor Licensing Technical Support Program. The funding the company receives under the program will support the development of its B&W mPower reactor technology.