A prototype control room for Babcock & Wilcox’s (B&W) mPower small modular reactor (SMR) will enable testing the man-machine interface and allow operators to be trained in advance of the reactor’s deployment.

The prototype control room at B&W’s facility in Lynchburg, Virginia has the same specifications as the system planned for eventual deployment, and is connected to a engineering simulator to allow validation of the man-machine interfaces and operating controls architecture. At first, it will be used to help mPower designers effectively incorporate lessons from real-world operating experience and discover any design issues early in the development cycle. B&W engineers will refine the mPower plant system design and the reactors’ response to a variety of anticipated and postulate events. It is envisaged that the control room will later be used to train operators for future power plants based on mPower reactor units.

“Having the ability to train operators two to three years ahead of commercial operation will keep us on the critical path toward timely development and operation at our Clinch River project by 2021,” Babcock & Wilcox mPower president Christofer Mowry noted.

The mPower reactor was recently selected as the winner of funding under a US government program to help accelerate the pace at which SMRs are brought to market.

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