BWX Technologies and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have teamed up to develop 3D printing technology for the production of metallic compounds needed to build a nuclear reactor system.
The company said Monday it demonstrated an additive manufacturing approach for refractory metals and nickel-based superalloys as part of a cost-sharing nuclear technology development project DOE awarded in 2018.
Kenneth Camplin, president of BWXT's nuclear services group, said the company employs a group of designers and engineers aiming to help advanced reactor developers address technical challenges.
The Lynchburg, Virginia-based nuclear parts supplier aims to increase reactor power output and service life using the firm's design and manufacturing techniques.
BWXT estimates that an advanced reactor system made from refractory metal alloys could operate at 50 percent efficiency and reach a core exit temperature of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit.