(LYNCHBURG, Va. - December 18, 2019) - BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT) announced today that its TRISO nuclear fuel manufacturing restart activities are progressing ahead of schedule. BWXT technicians are now producing uranium solutions for TRISO fuel as the company moves forward with its previously announced plans to restart its manufacturing line and increase capacity at its Lynchburg, Va. facility.
A uranium solution is one of the starting materials required for TRISO coated kernel formation. The uranium solution is produced by dissolving uranium-bearing materials in aqueous nitric acid solution. Batches of uranium solution with any enrichment class (including highly enriched uranium) can be blended to achieve the desired product enrichment. BWXT recently completed refurbishment activity of existing equipment in order to begin solution production.
'We're very proud of how our employees have been working to get the line restarted,' said Joel Duling, president of BWXT Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. 'While the vast majority of the production equipment is already in place, we have been making some equipment upgrades to prepare the line for what we anticipate will be consistent production runs in the future.'
BWXT is restarting its existing TRISO fuel production capability and increasing its capacity to position the company to meet emergent client interests in Department of Defense microreactors, space reactors, and civil advanced reactors. By co-locating the TRISO production line with other existing uranium processing capabilities, BWXT has a vertically integrated facility capable of handling all TRISO-related needs from feedstock preparation through uranium recovery and purification.
BWXT is the only U.S. company to manufacture irradiation-tested uranium oxycarbide TRISO fuel using production-scale equipment. BWXT and the U.S. Department of Energy have cooperated in the development and qualification of TRISO-based fuel for more than 15 years, demonstrating and establishing the company's commercial capability for TRISO fuel manufacturing.
TRISO production with HALEU requires at least an NRC Category 2 license, which can take several years and substantial investment to obtain. BWXT currently has the only private Category 1 licenses in the U.S., which can also be utilized to produce Category 2 material. The company's existing infrastructure would contribute to far lower initial costs as compared to setting up a new TRISO production facility, and it will not significantly increase current decontamination and decommissioning liabilities. BWXT already has the required safety, security, quality, material accountability, and operational systems needed to execute this work. The company can also leverage the expertise of hundreds of security-cleared engineers, trained uranium processing technicians and other professionals to quickly and safely ramp up to required production targets.
More information is available on BWXT's website here.
Forward Looking Statements
BWXT cautions that this release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to its plans to restart the Company's TRISO nuclear fuel production line and establishing production capacity; TRISO fuel validation; expected TRISO fuel demand; and the timing and impact of the foregoing. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, delays in refurbishment activities and achieving production consistency. If one or more of these or other risks materialize, actual results may vary materially from those expressed. For a more complete discussion of these and other risk factors, please see BWXT's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. BWXT cautions not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release, and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, except to the extent required by applicable law.
Headquartered in Lynchburg, Va., BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT) is a leading supplier of nuclear components and fuel to the U.S. government; provides technical and management services to support the U.S. government in the operation of complex facilities and environmental remediation activities; and supplies precision manufactured components, services and fuel for the commercial nuclear power industry. With approximately 6,400 employees, BWXT has 11 major operating sites in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, BWXT joint ventures provide management and operations at more than a dozen U.S. Department of Energy and NASA facilities. Follow us on Twitter at @BWXTech and learn more atwww.bwxt.com.
Director, Investor Relations