Babcock & Wilcox and FirstEnergy Corp. said Wednesday that they will work together on a nuclear reactor project.


B&W subsidiary Generation mPower LLC, known as GmP, will work on what is called the B&W mPowerTM small modular reactor (SMR) in conjunction with First­Energy’s service territory.


Based in Charlotte, N.C., B&W has operations in Barberton.


FirstEnergy and GmP said they will study mPower economics, evaluate potential sites for construction of plants, complete a preliminary pre-licensing analysis and assess the need and timing for deployment of mPower plants.


The mPower SMR is an advanced nuclear reactor in an underground containment structure. “Our agreement … is an outgrowth of the company’s involvement with B&W’s consortium to promote the development of small modular reactors,” said James H. Lash, president of FirstEnergy Generation and chief nuclear officer, in a news release. “Completing these studies will help us determine how B&W small modular reactors may be part of our long-term generation planning.”


Christofer M. Mowry, president and chief executive officer of GmP, said: “This cooperative effort with FirstEnergy demonstrates growing interest in our B&W mPower SMR as a clean, efficient and affordable power generation option. B&W has a long history of working in Ohio, and our employees in the state have an important role in the development of safer, more secure nuclear technology. We appreciate FirstEnergy’s industry leadership, and look forward to working closely with them to complete these studies.”


FirstEnergy Corp. spokesman Todd Schneider said there are no commitments, but the reactors could be used in the future to meet power demands.


“This agreement between FirstEnergy and Generation mPower represents another significant step towards making Ohio a hub for advanced manufacturing and next-generation energy,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. “This agreement, which will draw on highly skilled Ohio workers from design and manufacturing to deployment, is critical to sustained job creation and international competitiveness in clean energy.”


Sen. Rob Portman also lauded the partnership.


“I applaud FirstEnergy and Generation mPower for their commitment to advanced energy development and our nation’s energy security,” he said.