Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has signed a deal with a consortium comprising SNC-Lavalin, Aecon and GE Hitachi to deliver North America’s first grid-scale small modular nuclear reactor.
The Darlington New Nuclear project in Clarington, Ontario, will see GE Hitachi’s BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) deployed at the existing nuclear power plant before 2030.
The project is being undertaken via an integrated project delivery model with OPG as the license holder with overall responsibility for the project including operator training, commissioning, indigenous engagement, stakeholder outreach and oversight.
GE Hitachi is the technology partner responsible for design and procurement of major components. SNC-Lavalin subsidiary Candu Energy will provide design, engineering and procurement support and Aecon will provide all construction services including project management, construction planning and execution.
The BWRX-300 is a new type of nuclear reactor that provides up to 300MW of electric power – enough to power more than 300,000 homes. It has been designed to reduce construction costs compared with traditional nuclear power station.
Aecon’s president and chief executive, Jean-Louis Servranckx, hailed the project as the future of clean, reliable and affordable electricity in Ontario: “Nuclear power and SMRs are integral to Aecon’s growth strategy and will play a significant role in advancing global progress towards achieving sustainability targets and a net-zero economy by 2050,” he said.
Joe St Julian, president (nuclear) at SNC-Lavalin, added: “Together with our alliance partners, we will ensure Canada again leads the way to advance an exciting new frontier in nuclear energy.
“We continue to work with SMR vendors in Canada and around the world to bring more of these reactors online, coinciding with a rise in interest from jurisdictions looking to use nuclear power to decarbonise their energy mix while maintaining their energy self-sufficiency.”
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