Canadian Joint Project To Develop Micro Modular Reactor

Canadian small nuclear power developer Global First Power Ltd. said Tuesday that it had formed a joint enterprise with Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) with the goal of building, owning and operating the proposed Micro Modular Reactor (MMR) at the national Chalk River Laboratory site.

Chalk River LaboratoriesThe joint venture, headquartered in Ottawa, is to be called the Global First Power Limited Partnership. It is equally owned by OPG and USNC-Power, the Canadian subsidiary of USNC. The partnership will work together on the project initiated by GFP in 2019 by GFP.

The aim is to develop, license, construct and operate a commercial demonstration reactor at Chalk River, which will serve as a model for potential future MMRTM projects across Canada.

A micro-reactor has several potential low-carbon applications for power generation in Canada, including providing heat and electricity to isolated minning interests and to remote communities. GFP, USNC and OPG have been collaborating on the Chalk River Project for several years, which has led to the joint-ownership arrangement and creation of the Limited Partnership, the companies said.

“The backing of OPG combined with USNC’s advanced reactor and fuel designs will allow us to continue to lead the way in delivering a small-reactor solution in Canada,” explained Joe Howieson, CEO, Global First Power Ltd. “This joint venture is a very important milestone, marking new levels of commitment by an innovator in nuclear power-generation technologies and a forward-thinking, major utility.”

The MM Project is in the third stage of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ (CNL) four-stage process to site a demonstration small modular reactor (SMR) at the Chalk River campus. The site is owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and operated by CNL.

The 15 megawatt (MW) thermal (approximately 5 MW electrical) MMR Project is currently undergoing an environmental assessment, which places it in the forefront of Canadian modular reactor projects.

"While there are many small reactor companies boasting about the progress they’re making, no other organization is closer to constructing a micro reactor in Canada than we are,” said Francesco Venneri, CEO, USNC. “Through this joint venture, we’re committed to proving how viable, safe, and valuable our MMR™ technology is to Canada and to the rest of the world.”

The USNC MMR consists of two plants: the nuclear plant that generates heat, and the adjacent power plant that converts heat into electricity or provides process heat for industrial applications. The USNC system is designed to be uniquely simple, with minimal operations and maintenance requirements, and no on-site fuel storage, handling, or processing. Key to the overall design is USNC’s Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated (FCM) fuel, which is said to provide a new approach to reactor safety at the fuel level.

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  • Anonymous

    While the Cost of the NOAK MMR should be much lower, (Nth Unit = ?)

    Any info. on the Demonstration or FOAK MMR will be appreciated