Another Canadian province signs on for SMR development

April 20, 2021, 9:31AMNuclear News
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at an online event on April 14, after signing an agreement on small modular reactor development. Photo: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has added his signature to a memorandum of understanding on small modular reactor development that was signed in 2019 by the premiers of New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. Kenney signed the document last week at a virtual event that also promoted the release of Feasibility of Small Modular Reactor Development and Deployment in Canada—a study formally requested as part of the MOU.

Canada invests $40M in Moltex SMR technology

March 25, 2021, 7:00AMNuclear News

Artist’s rendering of the Stable Salt Reactor–Wasteburner (SSR–W) and WAste to Stable Salt (WATSS) facility. Image: Moltex

The Canadian government has awarded C$50.5 million (about $40.2 million) to Moltex Energy Canada to support small modular reactor research and technology development in New Brunswick. The investment, announced March 18, was provided by the government’s Strategic Innovation Fund and its Regional Economic Growth Through Innovation program, part of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

In a press release on the funding, Moltex said it plans to build the world’s first 300-MW Stable Salt Reactor–Wasteburner (SSR–W) and WAste to Stable Salt (WATSS) facility at the Point Lepreau Generating Station site in Saint John, New Brunswick, and provide electricity to the grid by the early 2030s. According to the company, its WATSS process, which recycles existing used nuclear fuel, has the potential to reduce storage needs for that fuel.

Moltex also noted its expectation that jobs created through the project will, over the next 15 years, contribute approximately C$1 billion (about $800 million) to Canada’s gross domestic product and result in some C$100 million (about $79.7 million) in federal government revenue.

New Brunswick awards additional funding for SMR development

February 17, 2021, 7:00AMNuclear News

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs announces C$20 million in funding for the ARC-100 small modular reactor. Photo: ARC Canada

The Canadian province of New Brunswick has awarded C$20 million (about $15.7 million) to ARC Clean Energy Canada (ARC Canada) to support the development of the proposed ARC-100 advanced small modular reactor. The premier of New Brunswick, Blaine Higgs, announced the award during his state of the province address on February 10.

ARC Canada, headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick, is a subsidiary of U.S.-based ARC Clean Energy, formerly known as Advanced Reactor Concepts. The company’s ARC-100 is a 100-MWe integrated sodium-cooled fast reactor that uses a metallic uranium alloy fuel. Based on Argonne National Laboratory’s Experimental Breeder Reactor-II, the reactor is designed to operate for 20-plus years without refueling.

In October 2019, ARC Canada announced that it had completed the first phase of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC) vendor design review. (While the phase-one assessment provides detailed feedback regarding a vendor’s understanding of the CNSC’s requirements for a nuclear power plant in Canada, it does not certify the design or license the reactor.)

New Brunswick debates investing in SMRs

December 9, 2020, 9:44AMANS Nuclear Cafe

In an article published by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on December 7, politicians representing New Brunswick, Canada, debate the benefits and potential risks of investing in small modular reactor development. Two major parties in the province support SMR development, while the Green Party sees “danger signs.”