Alberta grows links with SMR sector

24 March 2023

ARC Clean Technology Canada, Inc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Alberta's Invest Alberta Corporation to jointly pursue activities to support commercialisation of ARC's ARC-100 small modular reactor (SMR) technology in the province.

ARC announced the signature of the MoU on 23 March (Image: @arc_cleantech)

Alberta is one of four Canadian provinces - the others are New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan - that have agreed to a joint strategic plan outlining their strong support for the path forward on SMRs.

Under the terms of the MoU, ARC will begin the process to expand its operations in Alberta with the objective of developing a fleet of ARC-100 reactors, with support from Invest Alberta for engagement and partnership activities with industry and stakeholders. ARC will also develop the associated supply chains and manufacturing, operating and support services necessary for the construction and operation of multiple ARC-100 units.

The ARC-100 is a 100 MWe sodium-cooled fast reactor based on proven technology developed at the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II reactor, which operated successfully at the US government's Argonne National Laboratory for 30 years. It has also been selected for deployment in New Brunswick, with a fully operational unit at the Point Lepreau nuclear site by 2029.

Invest Alberta CEO Rick Christiaanse said meaningful partnerships with leading cleantech innovators like ARC bring "impactful net-zero solutions" to the province. "Momentum is building in Alberta around SMR technology, with Invest Alberta signing MOUs with several companies that are on the path to launching proven sustainable energy supplies in the province," he said.

William Labbe, president and CEO of ARC Clean Technology Canada, said early deployment of the company's SMR technology would bring high quality jobs, significant investment, and economic benefits. "With Alberta being Canada's energy and heavy industry leader, it is a natural market for ARC's industrial applications and will be a key stepping stone for the global deployment of Canadian SMR technology," he said.

Invest Alberta - a Crown corporation of the Government of Alberta - in January signed an MoU with  X-Energy Canada to develop economic opportunities supporting the potential deployment of the Xe-100 SMR. It has also supported SMR developer Terrestrial Energy in its efforts to expand its operations into Alberta: earlier this month the company opened an office in Calgary to support the commercial development of its Integral Molten Salt Reactor plant for industrial cogeneration in western Canada.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News