We are getting a better picture of how many jobs may be eliminated, as a Lynchburg employer scales back one of its major research and development programs.
Babcock and Wilcox has notified the Virginia Workforce Network of a "mass layoff." According to an online posting, up to 211 jobs will be cut by June 16.
The layoffs come as B&W reduces funding for Generation mPower, a subsidiary that designs and develops small model nuclear reactors.
B&W already announced that it will cut its investment in the project due to low demand. The company says it will invest up to $15 million a year into the program starting in the third quarter of 2014.
B&W employs more than 2,400 people in Lynchburg. The layoffs would represent a 10% reduction in the company's local workforce
Babcock and Wilcox, which has more than 2,000 employees in the Lynchburg region, announced plans Monday to cut back spending for its mPower small modular reactor program.
A spokesperson for B&W said that the company does expect some layoffs in the Lynchburg region, but its not clear yet how many jobs will be cut.
B&W said it decided to restructure the program after having problems finding investors. B&W will invest up to $15 million a year into the program starting in the third quarter of 2014.
Here is the news release:
The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) (NYSE:BWC) is announcing plans to restructure its mPower Small Modular Reactor program to focus on technology development.
B&W continues to believe in the strength of the mPower technology, but without the ability to secure significant additional investors or customer Engineering, Procurement and Construction contracts to provide the financial support necessary to develop and deploy mPower reactors, the current development pace will be slowed.
“The B&W mPower reactor can play a significant role in meeting our country’s climate change goals, energy needs, and support U.S. job and manufacturing growth,” said E. James Ferland, President and CEO of B&W. “We look forward to working with our stakeholders and partners in the continued development of this important technology.”
B&W notified the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on April 9 of its plans for reduced spending, indicating it would work with the DOE and other stakeholders during the next one to two months to confirm the best path forward to develop a mutually agreeable plan including program milestones for continuing the cost-shared industry partnership program. B&W expects to invest up to $15 million annually, beginning the third quarter of 2014.
“While we have made notable progress in developing a world-class technology, there is still significant work involved in bringing this climate-friendly technology to reality,” Ferland said. “The support provided by DOE, Congress, the Tennessee Valley Authority and our other partners has been critical and valuable. We look forward to working with our stakeholders to find the most efficient way to move this technology toward licensing and deployment in the mid-2020 timeframe.”