Dec 4, 2021

OPG chooses BWRX-300 SMR for Darlington new build

Posted by in categories: engineering, nuclear energy

Canada’s first commercial Small Modular Reactor (SMR)

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has selected the BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) for the Darlington new nuclear site, and will work with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) to deploy the reactor. Canada’s first commercial, grid-scale, SMR could be completed as early as 2028.

OPG and GEH will collaborate on SMR engineering, design, planning, preparing licensing and permitting materials, and site preparation activities. Site preparation will begin in the spring of 2022, pending appropriate approvals, OPG said. It aims to apply to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for a construction licence by the end of next year.

Darlington is the only site in Canada currently licensed for new nuclear: OPG was granted a site preparation licence by the CNSC in 2012, after completion of an environmental assessment which included public involvement, but reductions in forecast electricity demand led to a decision to defer plans for new build. OPG last year announced it was resuming planning activities for additional nuclear power generation via an SMR at the site, rather than a large conventional reactor, as previously envisaged. The CNSC recently granted a 10-year renewal to the site preparation licence, which had been due to expire in August 2022.

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