Advanced reactor marketplace

October 29, 2020, 10:35AMNuclear News

Advanced reactor developers see potential markets for reactors in a range of sizes that offer clean, reliable, flexible, and cost-competitive power. Many have reached agreements with suppliers, utilities, and others to support the demonstration and possible deployment of their designs. Nuclear News is following these activities. Read on for updates and check back with Newswire often for more on the Advanced Reactor Marketplace.

Canada has invested Can$20 million in Terrestrial Energy’s 195-MW Integral Molten Salt Reactor through the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Industry, the company announced on October 15. In accepting the investment, Terrestrial Energy, which is based in Oakville, Ontario, has committed to creating and maintaining 186 jobs and creating 52 co-op positions nationally. In addition, Terrestrial Energy is spending at least $91.5 million on research and development. According to the company, the funds will assist with the completion of a key pre-licensing milestone with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Two days earlier, Terrestrial Energy USA and Centrus Energy announced that they had signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate the logistical, regulatory, and transportation requirements to establish a fuel supply for Integral Molten Salt Reactor power plants, which would use standard-assay low-enriched uranium at an enrichment level less than 5 percent.

Framatome and General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) on October 13 announced plans to collaborate on the development of GA-EMS’s helium-cooled 50-MWe fast modular reactor (FMR). Framatome’s U.S. engineering team will be responsible for designing several critical structures, systems, and components for the FMR. According to GA-EMS, the FMR uses a helium coolant and eliminates the need for the graphite common in other helium-cooled designs, and its fuel is designed to support reactor operations for up to nine years before replacement.

On October 11, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) issued a press release describing its proposal under the Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program to partner with Idaho National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) to deploy the Micro Modular Reactor (MMR), a 15- or 30-MWt high-temperature gas-cooled reactor. As proposed, the MMR would demonstrate integrated energy systems with renewables and other clean energy technologies at INL and would provide training, experimental capabilities, and heat to UIUC. The university plans to demonstrate a single MMR operated as a research reactor and to partially repower an on-campus coal-fired power station.

Bruce Power and Westinghouse Electric Company on October 9 announced an agreement to pursue the deployment of Westinghouse’s eVinci microreactor in Canada. Over the next year, the two companies will focus on furthering the public policy and regulatory framework; assessing the economic, social, and environmental contribution of eVinci technology compared to alternatives such as diesel or other fossil fuels; identifying potential industrial applications; and accelerating the road map for Canada to host a demonstration reactor.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced on October 6 that it is advancing engineering and design work with three grid-scale small modular reactor developers: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Terrestrial Energy, and X-energy. OPG intends to site an SMR in Ontario, paving the way for the potential deployment of SMRs in other Canadian jurisdictions. The three companies issued their own press releases the same day. GE Hitachi took the opportunity to announce that it had entered into memorandums of understanding with five Canadian companies—Aecon Nuclear, BWXT Canada, Hatch, Black & Veatch, and Overland Contracting Canada—to support the potential construction of its BWRX-300 SMR and to provide future services and components.

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