Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan to work together on small modular reactors
02 December 2019
Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have agreed to work together to explore new technology in nuclear power generation to provide carbon-free, affordable, reliable, and safe energy, while helping unlock economic potential across Canada, including rural and remote regions.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) committing to collaborate on the development and deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in Canada.
SMRs could generate clean and low-cost energy for both on-grid and off-grid communities, connect more remote and rural areas of the provinces, and benefit energy-intensive industries, including the mining and manufacturing sectors. It could also drive economic growth and export opportunities as these technologies are further adopted across the country and around the world.
Canada-based Advanced Reactor Concepts, L.L.C. (ARC) is working to commercialize an advanced small modular nuclear reactor that will produce 100 MWe of energy, be factory-built and offer the customer fixed fuel costs for 20+ years.
The ARC reactor (ARC-100) is based on technology proven by more than 30 years of successful operation of the EBR-II, an experimental program operated by the US government. The EBR-II was operated by Argonne National Laboratory for 30 years as a test and demonstration sodium-cooled fast-reactor power plant.
The basic EBR-II technology has been enhanced by ARC through numerous, significant proprietary innovations (for which patents have been granted and applied) to create a “Fourth Generation” solution that will have wide applicability in both the US and export markets around the world, the company says.
The use of sodium instead of water as the heat transfer agent in the reactor allows the reactor to operate at ambient pressure. Its containment vessel is a double walled stainless steel tank rather than a 12-inch thick forged steel containment vessel required for traditional light water reactors.