Canadian companies collaborate to advance nuclear technology

07 April 2022

Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) have agreed to work together to support new nuclear technologies in Ontario. Building from shared experiences with their existing Candu fleets, the companies plan to collaborate on regulatory strategies and other enablers for a new nuclear fleet, as well as evaluating potential opportunities for the future deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) and other new nuclear technologies.

Working together to advance nuclear technology: OPG President and CEO Ken Hartwick (second from left) and Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck (far right) pictured with Canadian Nuclear Association President and CEO John Gorman (far left) and Ontario Minister of Energy Todd Smith (second from right) (Image: Bruce Power)

Ontario's Candus already provide about 60% of the province's clean electricity, and thanks to major projects by both companies, will continue to underpin Ontario's electricity system for decades to come. The shared experience of operating and refurbishing their Candu reactors has positioned OPG and Bruce Power to coordinate their efforts in expanding the role of nuclear power in the fight against climate change by evaluating technology options, promoting regulatory efficiencies, and developing strategies to best meet the needs of ratepayers in Ontario, they said yesterday.

OPG is over half-way through a CAD12.8 billion (USD10.1 billion) project to refurbish the four Candu units at Darlington that will enable the power station to operate for an additional 30 years. Bruce began refurbishment of the first of six of its nuclear units in 2020 as part of an overall life extension plan that began in 2016. In addition, the Darlington New Nuclear Project aims to deploy a BWRX-300 SMR at Darlington by the end of this decade. OPG has said it is preparing to submit its application for a construction licence by the end of this year.

The newly announced collaboration with Bruce Power will help advance new nuclear options for the long-term production of clean energy in Ontario and Canada, said OPG Executive Vice-President, Business Strategy and Commercial Management Chris Ginther: "We believe the Darlington New Nuclear Project is the first of many new nuclear opportunities that will need to be advanced as we make critical steps towards a net-zero future."

"Bruce Power is strongly supportive of OPG's SMR Project at Darlington and is looking forward to expanding our long-standing collaboration with OPG to advance new nuclear technology more broadly to create economic opportunities for the province, support innovation and to meet future energy needs while achieving net-zero," said James Scongack, Bruce Power's chief development officer and executive vice-president, Operational Services.

Microreactors are one of the three development streams identified in a joint strategic plan setting out a path for developing and deploying SMRs released by the governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Alberta in March, and Bruce in 2020 agreed with Westinghouse Electric Company to pursue applications of Westinghouse's eVinci microreactor within Canada.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News