Kickoff event coming on codes and standards for advanced reactors

March 25, 2024, 7:01AMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Idaho National Laboratory are hosting a hybrid event on April 4 to launch a coordinated effort focused on leveraging consensus codes and standards to support deployment of new and advanced reactor technologies.

The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EDT) at the NRC’s Rockville, Md., headquarters and will be accessible online through Microsoft Teams. Participants must register to attend either in-person or virtually.

Canada authorizes building of LLW disposal facility at Chalk River

January 16, 2024, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
Concept art of the Chalk River near surface disposal facility for LLW. (Image: CNL)

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has decided to amend Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ operating license for the Chalk River Laboratories, allowing the construction of a near surface disposal facility (NSDF) for low-level radioactive waste on the nuclear research site in Deep River, Ontario.

More BWRX-300 units to be deployed at Darlington

July 10, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
Ontario energy minister Todd Smith (left) and Ontario Power Generation president and CEO Ken Hartwick announce plans for three more BWRX-300 units at Darlington. (Photo: OPG)

If we’re in a new nuclear renaissance, its capital would appear to be Ontario. On July 7, just two days after debuting a collaboration with Bruce Power to build up to 4.8 GW of new nuclear generation at the Bruce plant, the government of Ontario announced that it is working with Ontario Power Generation to begin planning and licensing for the deployment of three additional GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) BWRX-300 small modular reactors at that utility’s Darlington site.

Westinghouse submits first documents to CNSC for eVinci VDR

July 7, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
Conceptual art of an eVinci microreactor site. (Image: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse Electric Company has submitted to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission the first set of vendor design review (VDR) documents for its eVinci microreactor, the Pennsylvania-based nuclear technology firm announced yesterday. In September 2021, Westinghouse signed a service agreement with the CNSC that initiated the VDR.

U.S., Polish nuclear regulators renew pact

June 29, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
From left, NRC chair Christopher Hanson and PAA president Andrzej Głowacki sign a cooperation agreement in Washington, D.C. (Photo: PAA)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Poland’s National Atomic Energy Agency (PAA) have renewed their cooperation agreement for the next five years.

Terrestrial Energy awarded DOE grant for IMSR licensing

May 17, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
An illustration of an IMSR plant. (Image: Terrestrial Energy)

Ontario–based Terrestrial Energy announced yesterday that its U.S. branch has been awarded a regulatory assistance grant from the Department of Energy to support the company’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing program for the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) plant.

Canada completes second phase of IMSR design review

April 21, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News
A rendition of Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR. (Image: NRC)

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has completed phase two of its prelicensing vendor design review for Terrestrial Energy’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR), the Ontario-based advanced nuclear technology firm announced Tuesday. Phase one of the VDR commenced in April 2016 and was completed in November of the following year.

The blossoming of cooperation between the U.S. and Canada

March 31, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear NewsMatt Wald

The United States and Canadian nuclear industries used to be an example of how two independent teams of engineers facing an identical problem—making electricity from uranium—could come up with completely different answers. In the 1950s, Canada began designing a reactor with tubes, heavy water, and natural uranium, while in the U.S. it was big pots of light water and enriched uranium.

But 80 years later, there is a remarkable convergence. The North American push for a new generation of nuclear reactors, mostly small modular reactors (SMRs), is becoming binational, with U.S. and Canadian companies seeking markets and regulatory certification on both sides of the border and in many cases sourcing key components in the other country.

GE Hitachi SMR reaches prelicensing milestone in Canada

March 16, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
A rendering of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor. (Image: NRC)

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s (GEH’s) BWRX-300 technology has completed phases 1 and 2 of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s vendor design review (VDR) process, the Wilmington, N.C.–based company announced yesterday.

Joint licensing process for Westinghouse microreactor begins

February 28, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear News
A rendering of an eVinci microreactor facility. (Image: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse Electric Company has filed a notice of intent to submit key licensing reports for its eVinci microreactor to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for joint review, the firm announced last week. (The two nuclear regulators signed a memorandum of cooperation in August 2019 to increase collaboration on the technical reviews of advanced reactor and small modular reactor technologies.)

Canada, Poland to collaborate on SMR technologies

February 21, 2023, 3:17PMNuclear News
CNSC’s Rumina Velshi (left) and the PAA’s Andrzej Głowacki sign a memorandum of cooperation on advanced and small modular reactors. (Photo: CNSC)

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and Poland’s National Atomic Energy Agency (PAA) have signed a memorandum of cooperation to share best practices and experience in reviewing advanced and small modular reactor technologies. (The two agencies are already engaged in cooperation on nuclear safety matters under a memorandum of understanding inked in 2014.)

Contract for Darlington SMR project signed

January 27, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
A rendering of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor. (Image: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy)

Wilmington, N.C.–based GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Canadian firms Ontario Power Generation, SNC-Lavalin, and Aecon announced this morning the signing of a contract for the deployment of a BWRX-300 small modular reactor at OPG’s Darlington nuclear site in Canada. According to the announcement, it is the first commercial contract for a grid-scale SMR in North America.

Canada proposes tax credits for SMRs

November 11, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

The Canadian government last week released its 2022 Fall Economic Statement, featuring, among its many proposals, investment tax credits for a variety of clean energy technologies, including small modular reactors.

Terrestrial Energy chosen for coal conversion program

November 8, 2022, 12:05PMNuclear News

Ontario’s advanced nuclear technology firm Terrestrial Energy yesterday announced the signing of a letter of intent (LOI) with TerraPraxis, a U.K.-based nonprofit devoted to climate solutions, to cooperate on the latter’s Repowering Coal initiative—a program aimed at integrating clean heat sources with existing infrastructure at coal-fired power plants in North America and elsewhere.

Canada invests nearly C$1 billion in OPG’s SMR project at Darlington

October 27, 2022, 6:56AMNuclear News
Artist’s rendering of a BWRX-300 plant. (Image: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy)

Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has finalized an agreement with Ontario Power Generation, committing C$970 million (about $715 million) to Canada’s first small modular reactor, to be located at OPG’s Darlington nuclear power plant in Clarington, Ontario.

A state-owned enterprise founded in 2017, CIB is charged with financially supporting revenue-generating infrastructure projects in the public interest via public-private partnerships. The agreement with OPG is the bank’s largest investment in clean power to date, according to a Tuesday joint announcement.

Pickering likely to operate to 2026—and maybe well beyond

October 6, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
The Pickering nuclear power plant. (Photo: OPG)

The government of Ontario has announced its support for extending the operation of Ontario Power Generation’s Pickering nuclear plant for a year past its scheduled 2025 closure date, adding that a much longer extension is also being mulled.

OPG, at the government’s request, has reviewed its operational plans and concluded that the facility can continue to safely produce electricity for an additional year, according to a recent news release.

CNSC vendor design review of eVinci microreactor to begin

September 29, 2022, 12:05PMNuclear News

Westinghouse's eVinci microreactor (Image: Westinghouse)

Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a service agreement with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to bring the eVinci microreactor closer to commercialization, the company announced Tuesday. The agreement initiates a vendor design review (VDR)—a prelicensing technical assessment of a company’s reactor technology.

The objective of a VDR, according to the CNSC, is to verify the acceptability of a nuclear power plant design with respect to Canadian nuclear regulatory requirements and expectations, as well as Canadian codes and standards. The review also aims to identify fundamental barriers to licensing a new design in Canada and to assure that a resolution path exists for any design issues identified.