US utility FirstEnergy Corporation (NYSE:FE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Generation mPower LLC (GmP), a Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) subsidiary, to conduct studies on the potential inclusion of the B&W mPower small modular reactor in it generation fleet.

FirstEnergy and GmP will work together to perform an independent financial review of mPower’s economics, evaluate several alternative potential sites for construction of B&W mPower plants, complete a preliminary pre-licensing analysis, and assess the need and timing for a prospective deployment of the small reactor technology.

The B&W mPower is an advanced 180 MWe utility-scale nuclear reactor that incorporates robust, inherently safe protection systems and a fully underground containment structure.

The B&W mPower design is said to maximize the use of proven, mature systems and components within an innovative plant architecture that reduces construction risks and minimizes ownership costs.

“Our agreement is an outgrowth of the company’s involvement with B&W’s consortium to promote the development of small modular reactors,” said James H. Lash, president of FirstEnergy Generation and chief nuclear officer.

“Completing these studies will help us determine how B&W small modular reactors may be part of our long-term generation planning.”

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