GEH Nuclear Energy celebrates three-nation plan for BWRX-300 standard design

March 23, 2023, 3:03PMNuclear News
A technical collaboration agreement was signed by (seated from left) Jay Wileman, GEH; Jeff Lyash, TVA; Ken Hartwick, OPG; and Rafał Kasprów, SGE; and was observed by dignitaries and an audience both in-person and online. (Photo: TVA)

“I’m glad you came to our party!” said GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) chief nuclear officer Nicole Holmes as she prepared to announce that Wilmington, N.C.–based GEH will develop a standard design for its BWRX-300 boiling water small modular reactor with not one but three power producers representing three countries: Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Ontario Power Generation (OPG), and Synthos Green Energy (SGE). Celebration was a theme throughout the March 23 event held in Washington, D.C., which was flush with dignitaries representing the United States, Canada, and Poland.

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.

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.

Looking back at 2022—April through June

January 4, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News

Another calendar year has passed. Before heading too far into 2023, let’s look back at what happened in 2022 for the American Nuclear Society and the nuclear community. In today's post that follows, we have compiled from Nuclear News and Nuclear Newswire what we feel are the top nuclear news stories from April through June 2022.

Stay tuned this week for the top stories from the rest of the past year.

But first:

Ontario’s SMR plans for Darlington advance

December 7, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
Representatives of OPG and GEH join Ontario government officials on December 2 to mark the start of site preparations for the Darlington SMR project. (Photo: Doug Ford via Twitter)

The Ontario government has announced the start of site preparation at the Darlington nuclear power plant for Canada’s first grid-scale small modular reactor: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s (GEH) BWRX-300.

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.

OPG, ČEZ to work together on SMR deployment

October 14, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
From left: Czech Republic deputy minister of industry and trade Petr Třešňák, ČEZ’s Tomáš Pleskač, OPG’s Ken Hartwick, Ontario minister of energy Todd Smith, and Canadian ambassador to the Czech Republic Ayesha Patricia Rekhi. (Photo: CNW Group/Ontario Power Generation)

Canada’s Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Czech Republic–based ČEZ have agreed to collaborate on nuclear technology deployment, including small modular reactors, under a memorandum of understanding signed yesterday in Prague.

Ontario’s largest electricity generator and the European energy giant have both pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

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.

OPG, Microsoft to work toward net-zero future for Ontario

September 28, 2022, 3:06PMNuclear News

Ontario Power Generation and Microsoft Canada have formed a partnership aimed at combatting climate change and driving sustainable growth across the province of Ontario, the Canadian utility announced this week.

Under the partnership, Microsoft will procure clean energy credits (CECs) sourced from OPG’s nuclear and hydro assets in Ontario on an hourly basis. (OPG’s nuclear assets include the four-unit Darlington plant and six-unit Pickering facility.) According to the announcement, this will enable Microsoft to advance toward its 100/100/0 by 2030 goal, which commits the software firm to powering its data centers globally with zero-carbon energy, 24/7.

BWXT Medical submits Tc-99m generator application to FDA

September 14, 2022, 3:02PMNuclear News

BWXT Medical has submitted a new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to request approval of its technetium-99m generator for medical imaging. A daughter isotope of molybdenum-99, Tc-99m is used in more than 40 million diagnostic procedures annually. BWXT Medical is a subsidiary of Lynchburg, Va.-based BWX Technologies.

TVA, GEH advance SMR plans for Clinch River site

August 8, 2022, 7:20AMNuclear News
Rendering of the proposed GEH Nuclear Energy BWRX-300 SMR at the Clinch River site. (Image: GE Hitachi)

The Tennessee Valley Authority and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) have signed an agreement to support planning and preliminary licensing for the potential deployment of a BWRX-300 small modular reactor at the Clinch River site near Oak Ridge, Tenn., the utility’s president and chief executive officer, Jeff Lyash, announced last week.

An evolution of GEH’s 1,520-MWe Generation III+ ESBWR design, the BWRX-300 is a 300-MWe water-cooled, natural-circulation SMR with passive safety systems.

OPG adds nuclear to Green Bond Framework

July 19, 2022, 12:05PMNuclear News
Darlington's refurbishment to be aided by Green Bond Framework funds. (Photo: OPG)

Ontario Power Generation has updated its Green Bond Framework to include nuclear energy in recognition of the role the technology stands to play in helping the company reach its decarbonization goals. (OPG’s climate change plan, established in 2020, commits the firm to achieving net-zero carbon emission status by 2040.)

The green bonds issued by the utility and its subsidiaries are used to finance and/or refinance certain energy projects and support the development of clean technologies.

OPG, X-energy seek industrial sites for the Xe-100 to supply clean power and heat

July 12, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and X-energy will look for opportunities to deploy the Xe-100 high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor at industrial sites in Ontario and identify further potential end users and sites throughout Canada under an agreement announced today.

Pact signed on potential BWRX-300 deployment in Saskatchewan

May 27, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
Artist’s rendering of a BWRX-300 plant. (Image: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy)

Ontario-based GEH SMR Technologies Canada Ltd. and the Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Suppliers Association (SIMSA) announced yesterday the signing of a memorandum of understanding focused on the potential deployment of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor in Saskatchewan.

The MOU calls for engaging with local suppliers to maximize the role of the Saskatchewan supply chain in the nuclear energy industry.

Canadian firm enlisted to help SMR development in Estonia

April 13, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

From left: Kalev Kallemets, chief executive officer of Fermi Energia, and James Lauritsen, managing director of Laurentis Energy Partners. (Photo: Fermi Energia)

Laurentis Energy Partners will work with Fermi Energia to support the development of small modular reactors in Estonia, the companies announced yesterday at the 2022 Canadian Nuclear Association Conference being held in Ottawa, Ontario.

A subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation (OPG), Laurentis bills itself as a provider of SMR services throughout the development life cycle, from feasibility and planning through construction, commissioning, and operations. Fermi Energia is an Estonian energy company focused on SMR development and deployment.

What they’re saying: “Building on our owner’s engineer and nuclear management experience, Laurentis is pleased to work with Fermi Energia to provide an opportunity for Estonia to confidently introduce SMRs into their energy mix,” stated Jason Van Wart, vice president of Laurentis.

Canadian utilities to collaborate on new nuclear in Ontario

April 8, 2022, 6:56AMNuclear News
Ontario clean energy leaders. From left: John Gorman, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Nuclear Association; Ken Hartwick, president and CEO of Ontario Power Generation; Todd Smith, Ontario’s minister of energy; and Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power president and CEO. (Photo: Bruce Power)

Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) have announced an agreement to work together to support new nuclear technologies in Ontario. Bruce Power operates the Bruce nuclear plant and OPG operates the Darlington and Pickering facilities.

Canadian provinces release strategic plan for SMRs

April 1, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News

The governments of four Canadian provinces—Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Alberta—have published a plan outlining the path forward for the advancement of small modular reactors, which could provide the nation with safe, reliable, and zero-emissions energy and create new export opportunities.

The 60-page document, A Strategic Plan for the Deployment of Small Modular Reactors, builds on an SMR feasibility study conducted under a memorandum of understanding signed in 2019 by the premiers of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan and in 2021 by the premier of Alberta. Prepared by Ontario Power Generation, Bruce Power, New Brunswick Power, and SaskPower, the study concluded that SMR development would support domestic energy needs, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and position Canada as a global leader in clean technologies and the fight against climate change.

Darlington-1 begins refurbishment

February 18, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
An aerial view of Ontario’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. (Photo: OPG)

Ontario Power Generation has passed the midway point in its C$12.8 billion (about $10 billion) Darlington nuclear plant refurbishment project with the start of work on Unit 1, the company has announced. The unit is expected to be ready for grid reconnection in the second quarter of 2025.

Darlington houses four 878-MWe CANDU pressurized heavy water reactors, all of which entered commercial operation in the early 1990s. The plant is located in Clarington, Ontario, Canada.