10/09/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/09/2018 10:03
LYNCHBURG, Va. - BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:BWXT) today hosted officials from NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) for progress updates and technology demonstrations related to BWXT's nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) program. Jim Reuter, NASA's acting associate administrator of STMD, toured BWXT's Advanced Technology Lab in Lynchburg, Virginia to learn more about BWXT's progress on the program that could support a future crewed mission to Mars.
Reuter watched demonstrations of three key technologies that BWXT has been developing to support the NTP program:
1) Advanced welding - BWXT demonstrated a new welding technology developed specifically for NASA fuel element fabrication.
2) Metallography - Technologists showed how they solve challenges in fabricating specialized materials used in NTP development.
3) Fuel Element Filling - The company presented a simple yet innovative way that it can fill fuel elements.
Rex Geveden, BWXT's president and chief executive officer, said, 'We were extremely pleased for Jim to visit us today and see how rapidly this technology has progressed in just over a year. We believe that NTP is an ideal propulsion system to take humans to Mars, and our scientists and engineers are working every day to make that a reality.'
The reactor could be part of an NTP rocket engine designed to propel a spacecraft from Earth orbit to Mars and back. BWXT's reactor design is based on low enriched uranium fuel. NTP for spaceflight has a number of advantages over chemical-based designs, primarily providing higher efficiency and greater power density. This would contribute to shorter travel times and lower exposure to cosmic radiation for astronauts.
In 2017, BWXT announced it had been awarded an $18.8 million contract from NASA for initial reactor concept development, initial fuel and core fabrication development, licensing support, and engine test program development. Work under the contract is expected to continue through 2019.
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 6,250 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 @BWXTech and learn more at www.bwxt.com.
Forward Looking Statements
BWXT cautions that this release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the performance, scope and timing of the NASA contract. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, modification or termination of the contract, delays or other difficulties in the commencement or execution of any options, the expected duration of the project and the availability of U.S. Government appropriations. 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, 2017 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.
Director, Media & Public Relations