Pact signed to advance IMSR development in western Canada

August 12, 2022, 9:29AMNuclear News

Evidence that Canada is serious about becoming a world leader in small modular reactor deployment continues to mount. Ontario-based SMR developer Terrestrial Energy yesterday inked a memorandum of understanding with Invest Alberta—a crown corporation of the government of Alberta that promotes the province internationally—to support commercialization of the company’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) in western Canada.

The IMSR is molten salt–cooled and –fueled and can supply heat at 585°C via a tertiary molten salt loop for direct use in on-site electric power generation and energy-intensive processes including desalination, hydrogen production, petrochemical refining, and clean synthetic transport fuels production.

According to a Terrestrial Energy press release on the MOU, the parties will work on federal and provincial policies and industrial incentives supporting transformative energy innovation in Alberta.

In 2021, Alberta joined New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan in an MOU aimed at advancing the development and deployment of SMRs to address the provinces’ energy, environmental, and economic development needs.

What they’re saying: “Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR cogeneration plant with its Generation IV SMR technology provides a clear pathway for Alberta industry to achieve net zero and develop production capabilities for industrial leadership in a net-zero energy economy of the future,” said Simon Irish, the company’s chief executive officer. “We are encouraged by the government of Alberta’s support for the sector and are attracted to Alberta because of the province’s continued policies supporting industrial innovation and economic growth.”

Alberta’s minister of energy, Sonya Savage, said there exists “great potential for SMRs to provide zero-emission energy for industrial operations in remote areas and further reduce emissions from Alberta’s oil sands” and expressed her gratitude to Terrestrial Energy “for supporting job creation and economic growth in Alberta.”

In case you missed it: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in early June completed a first joint technical review of the IMSR. The reactor had been selected in December 2019 as the first advanced non–light water nuclear reactor technology to be studied under an August 2019 NRC/CNSC memorandum of cooperation aimed at enhancing regulatory effectiveness through collaborative work on technical reviews of advanced reactor and SMR technologies.


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