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USS Nautilus

History

BWXT traces its history back to the 1850s with the invention of the water tube boiler. Operating for many years as a part of The Babcock & Wilcox Company, our company has long been at the forefront of the commercial nuclear power generation and government nuclear industries, achieving an impressive number of firsts in both businesses. In 2015, The Babcock & Wilcox Company spun off its power generation business to allow BWXT to focus on government and nuclear operations.

Trademarks of Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“B&W”) are used with permission, and such use does not indicate any endorsement by B&W of BWXT products or services or affiliation between the companies.

A Timeline of BWX Technologies, Inc.

Historical image from 1856

1856
Power Generation Operations

Stephen Wilcox patented the water tube boiler

Historical image from 1867

1867
Corporate

Stephen Wilcox and George Babcock established Babcock, Wilcox & Company

Historical image from 1879

1879
Power Generation Operations

Published the first edition of Steam: its generation and use. It is the longest continuously published engineering text of its kind in the world, now in its 42nd edition

Historical image from 1881

1881
Power Generation Operations

First central electrical station in the US, operated by the Brush Electric Light Company in Philadelphia, is powered by four 73-horsepower B&W boilers

Historical image from 1882

1882
Power Generation Operations

Thomas Edison’s Pearl Street Station in New York City, powered by four B&W boilers, ushered in the concept of a public utility and the age of electricity for lighting, transportation and industry

Historical image from 1888

1888
Power Generation Operations

Thomas Edison wrote that the B&W boiler is “the best boiler god has permitted man yet to make”

Historical image from 1889

1889
Power Generation Operations

Marine boiler business is launched with the installation of a new boiler built for Stephen Wilcox’s steam yacht Reverie

Historical image from 1891

1891
Corporate

B&W’s international business was consolidated with the founding of Babcock & Wilcox Limited, headquartered in London, England. The US-based B&W retained no management interest in Babcock & Wilcox Limited

Historical image from 1893

1893
Corporate

Stephen Wilcox died in November. George Babcock died 19 days later.

Historical image from 1902

1902
Power Generation Operations

New York City's first subway powered by B&W boilers

Historical image from 1906

1906
Power Generation Operations

Purchased the Stirling Consolidated Boiler Company plant in Barberton, Ohio, to manufacture boilers for industrial applications

Historical image from 1907

1907
Power Generation Operations

Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet powered by B&W boilers

Historical image from 1923

1923
Corporate

B&W and Goldie-McColloch incorporated in Canada, setting the stage for the company’s eventual establishment of Babcock & Wilcox Canada, Ltd., located in Cambridge, Ontario

Historical image from 1930

1930
Power Generation Operations

Contracted to construct penstocks for Hoover Dam

Historical image from 1943–1945

1943–1945
Government & Nuclear Operations

Provided components, materials and process development for Manhattan Project

Historical image from 1946

1946
Government & Nuclear Operations

Awarded first contract to research propulsion systems for US Navy

Historical image from 1949

1949
Power Generation Operations

Awarded contracts to design and build boilers for the SS United States, the first American superliner

Historical image from 1953–1955

1953–1955
Government & Nuclear Operations

Designed and fabricated components for USS Nautilus, world’s first nuclear-powered submarine

Historical image from 1956–1957

1956–1957
Government & Nuclear Operations

Manufactured components for the first full-scale peacetime nuclear power plant in the US – the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania

Historical image from 1956

1956
Government & Nuclear Operations

Designed and built first privately licensed commercial Critical Experiment Laboratory and began operations at Lynchburg Research Center, the first privately financed US nuclear facility

Historical image from 1957

1957
Power Generation Operations

Constructed first supercritical pressure coal-fired boiler

Historical image from 1958

1958
Government & Nuclear Operations

Began fabricating research and test reactor fuel for universities and national laboratories

Historical image from 1959

1959
Government & Nuclear Operations

World’s first nuclear merchant ship NS Savannah is launched with a B&W-manufactured nuclear reactor

Historical image from 1962

1962
Government & Nuclear Operations

Designed and furnished reactor systems for Indian Point, thus entering commercial nuclear market

Historical image from 1962

1962
Government & Nuclear Operations

Site at Mount Vernon, Indiana, developed for manufacturing large, heavy nuclear steam supply components

Historical image from 1964

1964
Government & Nuclear Operations

Concluded design work on Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL)

Historical image from 1966

1966
Government & Nuclear Operations

Initiated design and fabrication of components for Nimitz-class aircraft carriers

Historical image from 1975

1975
Government & Nuclear Operations

Designed and built components for liquid metal fast breeder reactor

Historical image from 1978

1978
Corporate

Acquired by J. Ray McDermott & Co., Inc.

Historical image from 1981–1985

1981–1985
Government & Nuclear Operations

Decontaminated and decommissioned first commercial plutonium laboratory in the US

Historical image from 1987

1987
Government & Nuclear Operations

Awarded contract to design space nuclear thermal propulsion system

Historical image from 1991

1991
Government & Nuclear Operations

Selected to manage and operate Specific Manufacturing Capability (SMC) at Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory

Historical image from 1993

1993
Government & Nuclear Operations

Issued patent for solar bi-modal space power and propulsion system

Historical image from 1993

1993
Government & Nuclear Operations

Awarded management and operating contract of Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of DynMcDermott

Historical image from 1993

1993
Government & Nuclear Operations

Initiated design and fabrication of heavy-equipment components for Virginia-class submarine

Historical image from 1994

1994
Government & Nuclear Operations

Awarded first major US Department of Energy site management and operating contract at Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory as part of winning team

Historical image from 1995

1995
Government & Nuclear Operations

Awarded contract to downblend HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium) from Project Sapphire

Historical image from 1997

1997
Government & Nuclear Operations

Awarded first prime contract from the US Department of Energy to manage and operate the Mound Site in Ohio

Historical image from 1999

1999
Government & Nuclear Operations

Awarded contract to develop fuel cells and hydrogen reformers for US Navy

Historical image from 2000

2000
Government & Nuclear Operations

Awarded contract to manage and operate Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas

Historical image from 2000

2000
Corporate

B&W and some subsidiaries file a voluntary petition in the US Bankruptcy Court to reorganize under Chapter 11

Historical image from 2003

2003
Government & Nuclear Operations

Supported development of reactor plant for Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO)

Historical image from 2004

2004
Government & Nuclear Operations

Awarded contract to manage and operate Idaho National Laboratory as part of Battelle Energy Alliance

Historical image from 2005

2005
Government & Nuclear Operations

Awarded contract to manage and operate Los Alamos National Laboratory as part of Los Alamos National Security, LLC

Historical image from 2006

2006
Power Generation Operations

Began developing oxy-fuel technology for carbon capture at fossil-fueled power plants

Historical image from 2007

2007
Corporate

Consolidated B&W and BWXT operations under the name The Babcock & Wilcox Company.

Historical image from 2007

2007
Government & Nuclear Operations

Acquired Marine Mechanical Corporation in Euclid, Ohio

Historical image from 2008

2008
Government & Nuclear Operations

Acquired Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. in Erwin, Tennessee, as a subsidiary

Historical image from 2009

2009
Government & Nuclear Operations

Began small modular reactor design for commercial nuclear industry

Historical image from 2010

2010
Corporate

Spun off from McDermott International as standalone, publicly traded company

Historical image from 2010

2010
Government & Nuclear Operations

Awarded contract by the US Department of Energy for uranium conversion operations at the Paducah and Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plants

Historical image from 2011

2011
Government & Nuclear Operations

Provided consulting services for nuclear reactor recovery efforts at Fukushima, Japan

Historical image from 2011

2011
Government & Nuclear Operations

Awarded management and operating contract at US Department of Energy’s Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project

Historical image from 2011

2011
Power Generation Operations

Awarded Waste-to-Energy power generation plant contracts in West Palm Beach, Florida

Historical image from 2014

2014
Government & Nuclear Operations

Signed Memorandum of Understanding for support for the development of TerraPower’s Generation IV traveling wave reactor

Historical image from 2015

2015
Corporate

B&W spun off power generation business. Government and nuclear operations continue under BWX Technologies, Inc.