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A new approach to nuclear power is being studied
It could be both put into use and manufactured here

Tim Rudell
B&W mPower reactor module. It would be placed about 140 feet under ground
Courtesy of Babcock & Wilcox
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New industrial jobs and renewed debate over nuclear power may follow last week’s word that Akron-based FirstEnergy is looking into “small unit” reactors from Babcock & Wilcox.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports on the evolution of First Energy’s nuclear hopes

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First Energy has Ohio’s only two commercial nuclear reactors and is trying to extend their life for another 20 years. But it’s also taken the first step toward a technology of compact reactors that would be a 10th the size of the Davis Besse and Perry plants. They’d also be built under ground; and include safe-guards like gravity fed emergency cooling water systems that can work on their own if disaster strikes.

First Energy and nuclear power plant builder Babcock & Wilcox are studying the new technology and considering existing locations in Ohio.  Even if that idea ends up a go, First Energy says going operational is 8-to-10 years out. 

But, B&Ws Chris Mowry says that’s when plants would be finished; manufacturing the new reactor equipment has to happen far ahead of that.  “In terms of jobs creation it will be much sooner.  I mean the technology is solid so you see this  thing starting to ramp up two or three years down the road.”

He also says those jobs could be in this area. “The value proposition we have in Ohio, the whole premise behind this, is to re-invent the American nuclear industry” 

Mowry says, northeast Ohio is where important parts of the manufacturing in that industry were-- including at B&W in Barberton--and  the facilities and experienced workforce still are.  

Related WKSU Stories

Head of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission tours troubled Ohio plant
Friday, June 22, 2012

Chairman of the NRC to visit troubled Ohio nuclear reactor
Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Davis Besse nuclear power plant restarts operations
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Davis-Besse fixing leak
Friday, June 8, 2012

"Interveners" are preparing a case against the NRC
Friday, March 30, 2012

Ohio senators sponsor a bill to keep nuclear development going
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

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