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Navy to Buy Nuclear Fuel from Babcox and Wilcox Subsidiary

by: Matthew Potter
February 16, 2011

Category: Babcox & Wilcox, Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, development program, Events, logistics, NFS, production program, Services, U.S. Navy | RSS 2.0

The U.S. Navy is one of the few world powers to use nuclear fuel for their submarines and aircraft carriers. They have operated ships with this type of power plant for over fifty years now. One of the benefits of such power plants is that they do not need to be refueled very often but they still require replacement of their nuclear cores and overhaul every several years. Babcox and Wilcox (BWC) is a major engineering firm dealing with the nuclear power industry as well as supporting the Navy.

One of its subsidiaries, Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS), based out of Tennessee just won a contract from the Navy to provide fuel for its nuclear powered vessels. The contract is worth almost $80 million.

Because of the limited market for the type of nuclear material needed NFS operates a facility that produces the fuel under U.S. government oversight.

The U.S. still needs to manufacture material to support its fleet of nuclear powered warships, power plants and nuclear warheads. The nation has made serious reductions in the number of reactor powered ships and weapons but still must maintain an infrastructure to support its existing systems.

B&W is one of the several contractors vital to that infrastructure and last month was awarded a contract worth about $2 billion to provide components over the next ten years for naval reactors.

Photo from micahaelwm25 flickr photostream.

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