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Babcock & Wilcox Subsidiary Awarded Contract to Downblend Highly Enriched Uranium

McDermott International McDermott International, Inc. ("McDermott") announced today that a subsidiary of The Babcock & Wilcox Company ("B&W") has been awarded a contract to downblend over 12 metric tons of highly enriched uranium ("HEU") into low enriched uranium ("LEU") at its Erwin, Tennessee facility.

Working under prime contractor WesDyne International, LLC and in support of the National Nuclear Security Administration's ("NNSA") nonproliferation initiative to reduce HEU stockpiles around the world, B&W's subsidiary will fulfill the downblending portion of the contract, which also includes transportation, storage and other activities to be performed by WesDyne.

Downblending is the process whereby HEU is processed to reduce its concentration of Uranium-235 to levels suitable for use in commercial power plants. The resulting LEU is no longer suitable for use in nuclear weapons and can be used for peaceful purposes, including assurance of fuel supply to utilities participating in the MOX program for the disposition of surplus weapons plutonium. The downblending and processing of HEU, as well as other materials, for commercial reactor applications is an ongoing business and core competency of B&W.

The contract period of performance is anticipated by NNSA to be up to nine years, although the downblending portion is expected to be complete within four years.

"B&W and its subsidiaries have enjoyed strong partnerships with the NNSA and other commercial companies in HEU downblending for a number of years," noted B&W Nuclear Operations Group President Winfred Nash. "We're looking forward to completing another installment in this essential project, and we anticipate additional opportunities in the future." B&W successfully completed a 50-metric ton downblending project in 2006. Additionally, its subsidiary, Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. which was acquired late last year, was previously awarded a contract to downblend over 17 metric tons of HEU in 2007.

Posted 01/07/09

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