Craig Lambert is Director of Engineering, New Business Development, Exelon Generation Company, LLC. He was the tenth and last speaker at the B&W hosted press conference announcing their mPower™ modular reactor. In the above video, he describes Exelon’s analysis of some of the potential benefits that can come from modular reactors and he describes Exelon’s involvement in the mPower™ industry advisory council.
In one of the strange ways that intellectual activity works, I had just finished processing this clip when I read an article in the Dallas Morning News titled Nuclear Power 101: What all those unintelligible letters and numbers mean. That article was brought to my attention because it contained the letters ESBWR, so it met one of my Google Alert searches used to keep up with new reactor plant news. It mentioned Exelon’s decision to move away from the ESBWR and quoted the November 24, 2008 press release announcing that decision:
Discussions with other reactor manufacturers began in August after an internal analysis conducted this summer showed that technologies other than the ESBWR provide the project greater commercial and schedule certainty. These improvements would enhance Exelon’s ability to obtain federal loan guarantees, which the company has said are essential for financing a new nuclear development project.
As a result, Exelon is considering reactor technologies that have more mature designs, more certain cost structures and better availability of information than the ESBWR.
As I have described in several recent posts and in the comment threads associated with those posts, I think one of the strongest lines of argument for the mPower™ concept is that it does not need any inventions; it is being developed by a deeply experienced vendor; it can be built on schedule at a predictable cost, and it is small enough so that a company like Exelon can finance it without any government assistance.
Putting all of that together in my twisted mind leads me to believe that Exelon might be more intrigued by the mPower™ that Mr. Lambert is allowed to admit.