B&W unit wins U.S. support
Charlotte, N.C.-based Babcock & Wilcox Co.’s modular nuclear reactor design received major federal government backing to become part of a significant effort to restart the U.S. commercial nuclear power plant industry.
B&W’s mPower reactor won the U.S. Department of Energy’s small modular reactor licensing technical support program.
That means B&W will get funding to support accelerated development of its mPower nuclear plant technology. Each mPower reactor is designed to provide 180 megawatts of electricity. The small pressurized water reactors are designed to be put in a fully underground containment structure.
The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to formally ask the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to license up to four mPower reactors at its Clinch River Site in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
B&W has 150 agreements with suppliers in 36 states to support the mPower program. The company said the mPower project will create a significant number of new jobs at B&W manufacturing facilities and supplier facilities. B&W has a significant campus in Barberton.
Target’s prices beat Wal-Mart
A Thanksgiving Day turkey dinner costs less when buying at Target Corp. than at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, according to a Bloomberg Industries price analysis. A basket of 18 Thanksgiving meal items, including turkey, cranberries, onions, corn, pumpkin and heavy cream, is $45.48 at Target stores, compared with $52.31 at Wal-Mart, according to a study led by Jennifer Bartashus, a Bloomberg Industries analyst.
HP discovers business fraud
Hewlett-Packard Co. said that a British company it bought for $10 billion last year lied about its finances, resulting in a massive writedown of the value of the business.
CEO Meg Whitman avoided calling it a fraud, but said Tuesday that there were “serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations at Autonomy Corporation PLC.”
HP is taking an $8.8 billion charge in its latest quarter largely to align the accounting value of Autonomy with its real value. It said most of that charge was due to the fictional bookkeeping at Autonomy. The revelation is another blow for HP, which is struggling to reinvent itself as PC and printer sales shrink.
Intel chief executive retires
Intel CEO Paul Otellini dropped a bombshell on the company’s board of directors last week, telling them in private that he plans to retire from the world’s largest maker of microprocessors in May. Otellini’s move comes at a time when Intel faces a shaky economy and a mobile gadget craze that is eating away at demand for its PC chips —and it gives the company just six months to find a new leader.
General Electric wants hybrids
GE is buying 2,000 plug-in hybrid cars from Ford for its corporate fleet. GE has set a goal of converting half its fleet to alternative energy vehicles. With the Ford purchase, GE now has 5,000 alternative-fuel vehicles, or about 10 percent of its fleet. Ford will promote GE’s electric vehicle charging stations as part of the agreement. The two companies also plan to work with researchers from Georgia Tech University to study employees’ driving and charging habits. The results of those studies will be shared with other companies that want to add electric cars to their fleets. The C-Max Energi went on sale this month. It can go around 20 miles in all-electric mode before a gas engine kicks in.
Judge blocks Hobby Lobby
A federal judge rejected Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.’s request to block part of the federal health care overhaul that requires the arts and craft supply company to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after and week-after birth control pills. In a 28-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied a request by Hobby Lobby to prevent the government from enforcing portions of the health-care law mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives the company’s Christian owners consider objectionable.
Icahn moves on Chesapeake
Investor Carl Icahn bumped up his stake in Chesapeake Energy, a company where he has already pushed for sweeping changes in governance. A regulatory filing shows Icahn now owns 8.98 percent, compared with a 7.6 percent stake in the Oklahoma City company he held this summer. Icahn first invested in Chesapeake Energy Corp. in May.
Compiled from staff and wire reports