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ham, Ala. The couple has two adult children,


a daughter and a son. The daughter, her husband and their two children live in Birmingham. The son lives in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Geveden is optimistic about the


prospects for his company. “We have some exciting projects going ... and we expect to be able to create some organic growth for the business from that activity, he says. “We do have some opportunities and tailwinds in our natural markets, but we’re expecting to create our own future with our research projects and technology breakthroughs as well.” Virginia Business interviewed Geve-


den at his Lynchburg office in late May. The following is an edited transcript.


is expected to benefit from plans by the Trump administration to increase the number of Navy ships (now fewer than 300) to 355. The Nuclear Power Group includes


BWXT Canada Ltd., which serves nuclear power plants in Canada. In December, it completed the acquisition of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada Inc., now called BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc., a major supplier of fuel, fuel handling systems, tooling delivery systems and replacement components for CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) pressurized heavy-water reactors. The Nuclear Services Group includes


BWXT Technical Services, which man- ages federal sites, including weapons complexes and nuclear facilities. A joint venture involving BWXT and two other companies, Four Rivers Nuclear Partner- ship LLC, has been awarded a $1.5 billion, 10-year deactivation and remediation contract by the Department of Energy for its Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky. The group also includes BWXT Energy, which provides nuclear components and services to the U.S. com- mercial nuclear energy industry. “We’re seeing lift in all three segments of our business,” Geveden says.


BWXT, however, is winding down


one long-term project. For many years, Generation mPower, a partnership originally involving Babcock & Wilcox and Bechtel Corp., has been developing a small, modular nuclear reactor called mPower. In March 2016, the partners (now


BWXT and Bechtel) entered an agree- ment to restructure the mPower program. During the next 12 months, Bechtel sought additional outside investment to complete development of the reactor’s design to earn Nuclear Regulatory Com- mission certification. In March this year, Bechtel said it was unable to secure suf- ficient funding to continue the program. It invoked the settlement provisions of the 2016 restructuring agreement to end the program. As a result, BWXT paid Bechtel a $30 million settlement, an amount that both companies had agreed upon in the restructuring agreement. Away from the office, Geveden’s inter-


ests include music (especially jazz), hiking and reading. He is a big fan of University of Kentucky basketball. Geveden and his wife, Gail, have been


married for 35 years. Their primary resi- dence is in Forest, just outside Lynchburg, and they have a second home in Birming-


www.VirginiaBusiness.com


Virginia Business: [How has the GE Hitachi acquisition in Canada impacted the company?] Geveden: One of the reasons we did the acquisition is because we really like what we see in that market … There are some very favorable conditions there. In that market, we have a good brand and a good reputation … But with GE Hitachi, we doubled our footprint, financially and operationally, in Canada … BWXT had been building steam generators and things that are around the perimeter of the reactor. GE makes … things right in the core. So getting GE gave us knowledge and credibility about the core of the reac- tor. And that’s important because in that Canadian market, 10 of the 19 CANDU reactors are going through refurbishment. They’re almost being completely rebuilt when you refurbish a CANDU reactor. And so what had been a billion-dollar market that we can address up there becomes annually a $2 billion market we can address. …


VB: Do you foresee a renewed interest in nuclear energy in the U.S.? Geveden: I think so. I think there’s some time for that to occur. There’s a belief that nuclear power in the U.S. has a political problem, and I think that’s misapprehen- sion. In reality, our problem is the nuclear power industry‘s problem in the U.S. is an economic one. It’s fracking and the price of natural gas. It’s just hard to close the busi- ness case on starting large nuclear plants.


VIRGINIA BUSINESS 87


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