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BWXT Delivers Fuel to NASA to Support Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

13 December 2021

(LYNCHBURG, Va. – Dec. 13, 2021) – BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT) has reached a critical milestone in the nation’s pursuit of space nuclear propulsion by delivering coated reactor fuels to NASA in support of its space nuclear propulsion project within the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is one of the technologies that is capable of propelling a spacecraft to Mars and back. Innovative new nuclear fuels and reactors required for the mission must be able to withstand the extremely high temperatures and corrosive conditions experienced in the engine during spaceflight.

BWXT has been able to leverage its decades of specialty and coated fuel manufacturing experience as well as its existing licensed production facilities to be the first private company to deliver relevant coated fuels that will be used in NASA testing scheduled next year.

“This is a landmark accomplishment for BWXT, and we’re extremely proud to support these efforts toward one day seeing a crewed spaceflight travel farther than ever before,” Government Operations President Dr. Rob Smith said. “This is a credit to everyone engaged in this endeavor in our labs and manufacturing facilities, the teams at the national laboratories, and the academic researchers who are all working together to achieve this goal.”

Under the terms of a previously announced contract awarded to BWXT by Idaho National Laboratory, the company will continue to produce fuel kernels, coated fuel kernels, and design materials and manufacturing processes for fuel assemblies.

BWXT is developing two fuel forms in support of a reactor ground demonstration by the late 2020s. BWXT is also designing a third, more advanced and more energy-dense fuel form that could be evaluated in the future.

Spacecraft using NTP technology have several advantages over conventional chemical-propellant designs. NTP is a lower-mass and more efficient propulsion system that allows astronauts to travel through space faster, reducing exposure to cosmic radiation and enabling return flights.

BWXT produces a variety of fuels that enable diverse mission concepts – from high-temperature coated fuels for space exploration to TRISO fuels for terrestrial use in microreactors.

Forward Looking Statements

BWXT cautions that this release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the performance, scope and timing of the NASA nuclear fuel contract, fuel delivery and design work for NTP. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, modification or termination of the contract, delays or other difficulties in execution of the contract or commencement of any options thereto, the expected duration of the project and the availability of U.S. Government appropriations. If one or more of these or other risks materialize, actual results may vary materially from those expressed. For a more complete discussion of these and other risk factors, please see BWXT’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. BWXT cautions not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release, and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, except to the extent required by applicable law.

About BWXT

At BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT), we are People Strong, Innovation Driven. Headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia, BWXT is a Fortune 1000 and Defense News Top 100 manufacturing and engineering innovator that provides safe and effective nuclear solutions for global security, clean energy, environmental remediation, nuclear medicine and space exploration. With approximately 6,700 employees, BWXT has 12 major operating sites in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, BWXT joint ventures provide management and operations at more than a dozen U.S. Department of Energy and NASA facilities.  Follow us on Twitter at @BWXT and learn more atwww.bwxt.com.

About INL
INL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

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Media Contact
Jud Simmons
Director, Media & Public Relations
434.522.6462
hjsimmons@bwxt.com

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Press Contacts:

BWX Technologies, Inc.

Jud Simmons 
+1 434.522.3800
hjsimmons@bwxt.com

BWXT Canada Ltd.  

Natalie Cutler 
+1 519.620.5288 
nacutler@bwxt.com 

BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc.

Natalie Cutler
+1 519.620.5288  
nacutler@bwxt.com 

Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc.

Laura Bailey 
+1 423.743.9141
lebailey@nuclearfuelservices.com