Cameco, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas (GNF-A) announced on July 7 they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to explore several areas of cooperation to advance the commercialization and deployment of BWRX-300 small modular reactors (SMRs) in Canada and around the world.
Predicting nuclear power "will play a massive role in the global shift to zero-carbon energy," Cameco President and Chief Executive Officer TIm Gitzel. said SMR technology would ride a wave of momentum into the future of energy production. “Cameco intends to be a go-to fuel supplier for these innovative reactors. We’re looking forward to working with GEH and GNF to see what opportunities might exist around their novel SMR design," he said.
Cameco supplies uranium, uranium refining and conversion services to the nuclear industry worldwide and is a leading manufacturer of fuel assemblies and reactor components for CANDU reactors.
Said Jay Wileman, President & CEO, GEH: “As we work to bring the world’s first grid-scale SMR to Canada we will continue to identify strategic partners whose capabilities will support the deployment of this game-changing technology in Canada and worldwide.”
The BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems that leverages the design and licensing basis of GEH’s U.S. NRC-certified ESBWR. Through innovative design simplification, GEH projects the BWRX-300 will require significantly less capital cost per MW when compared to other SMR designs.
By leveraging the existing ESBWR design certification, utilizing the licensed and proven GNF2 fuel design, and incorporating proven components and supply chain expertise, GEH has placed its bet on the BWRX-300, expecting it to become "the lowest-risk, most cost-competitive and quickest to market SMR."
An independent report by PwC Canada, commissioned by GEH, estimates that the construction and operation of the first BWRX-300 in Ontario is expected to generate approximately $2.3 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), $1.9 billion in wages and more than $750 million in federal, provincial and municipal tax revenue over its lifespan. The report estimates that each subsequent BWRX-300 deployed in Ontario and other provinces is expected to further generate more than $1.1 billion in GDP and more than $300 million in tax revenue.
The MOU ust signed is not exclusive and does not preclude GEH or Cameco from pursuing similar arrangements with other companies in the nuclear energy sector.
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