NB Power pleased with progress on Small Modular Reactor work

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SAINT JOHN (NB) – NB Power President and CEO Gaëtan Thomas says he is pleased with the progress made to date by Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC) Nuclear and Moltex Energy, the two companies carrying out research and development of small modular reactors at offices in Saint John, New Brunswick.

“NB Power is encouraged with the progress and remains convinced of the significant need and market potential for both of these types of advanced reactor technologies,” said Thomas. “We see these technologies addressing different yet complementary markets in Canada and around the world.”

Small modular reactors are the next generation of nuclear technology, and the technology can be scaled for designs with an output of between five and 300 megawatts. The units can be constructed and shipped to locations where they are assembled on site.

“New Brunswick is leading the way in the exploration of small modular reactors in Canada,” said Energy and Resource Development Minister Mike Holland. “Small modular technologies, such as those being developed by ARC and Moltex, are well positioned to provide an important solution to climate change and rising world-wide energy demand.”

Small modular reactors have inherent safety characteristics, simpler design, lower cost, ability to recycle their used fuel, and will have superior ability to follow the intermittent variable load from renewable power sources.

Since last year’s announcement, ARC Nuclear and Moltex Energy have achieved major milestones and continue their progress on a number of key initiatives, including

  • established offices in Saint John, New Brunswick

  • met their financial obligations

  • working with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in order to establish chair positions, curriculum, and plans for research and development to be performed at UNB and the Centre for Nuclear Energy Research

  • progressing their conceptual designs

  • progressing through Phase 1 of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC) Vendor Design Review process

  • pursuing the possibility of establishing a potential supply chain in New Brunswick

  • having discussions within the province to increase the understanding of advanced Small Modular Reactor technologies

  • exploring various investor possibilities

In order to move to commercial demonstration, these technologies would need to successfully complete Phase 2 of the CNSC Vendor Design review and their financial and project planning predictions would need to continue to show promise. If these conditions are met then NB Power envisions commercial demonstrations of both reactor types at the Point Lepreau site with an in-service date of approximately 2030.

New Brunswick Energy Solutions Corporation, a provincial Crown corporation, committed $10 million last year toward the establishment of an advanced Small Modular Reactor Research Cluster in New Brunswick. ARC and Moltex also each invested $5 million to progress research and development of their advanced technologies.

Media contact: Marc Belliveau, communications, NB Power, (506) 458-4203; mbelliveau@nbpower.com

Jeffrey Wolf2019