GEH launches supplier group to support SMR deployment

30 April 2024

BWXT Canada Ltd is the first company to join GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy's group of qualified supply chain companies to advance the global deployment of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR).

GEH Chief Procurement Officer Darion Jeralds, Jay Wileman, John MacQuarrie, and GEH Nuclear Supply Chain Leader Kimberly Perry mark the occasion as BWXT joins the qualified supplier group (Image: GE Vernova)

GEH, the nuclear business of GE Vernova, said it is setting up the supplier group to help ensure a reliable, cost effective and innovative process for the manufacture and commercialisation of the 300 MWe boiling water reactor design. Suppliers who meet pre-defined criteria, customer requirements and demonstrate a willingness to invest in BWRX-300 supply chain capabilities are eligible for selection to the group.

The first company to join the group is BWXT Canada Ltd, which has already been contracted for engineering of the BWRX-300 reactor pressure vessel for Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Darlington New Nuclear Project. BWXT recently announced an investment of CAD80 million (USD59 million) in its nuclear equipment manufacturing plant in Cambridge, Ontario.

"Supplier collaboration is expected to help build capacity and support cost reduction, project schedule goals and scalability as we deploy the BWRX-300 globally," GEH President and CEO Jay Wileman said. "We applaud BWXT Canada for standing firmly behind the BWRX-300 by making commitments and investing in its facilities and supply chain to be best positioned to compete for projects, further bolstering Ontario's nuclear supply chain."

President of BWXT Commercial Operations John MacQuarrie said the anticipated global demand for nuclear power was a significant factor in the company's decision to expand the manufacturing facility where large and heavy nuclear components are designed and made. "Our plans to increase the site's manufacturing capacity by 50% for large components and to invest in advanced manufacturing equipment over the next few years will further position our business to help deliver the BWRX-300 and other reactor technologies for our customers around the world," he added.

OPG, GEH, AtkinsRéalis and Aecon Construction Group last year signed a contract to build the first BWRX-300 at OPG's Darlington site, with the aim of completing construction of the unit by late 2028 and supplying power to the grid in 2029. Three further BWRX-300s are envisaged at Darlington.

The reactor, which leverages existing nuclear fuel and the design and licensing basis of the ESBWR boiling water reactor, is undergoing the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation's the Generic Design Acceptance process, for which it has received GBP33.6 million (USD42.7 million) of support under the UK government's Future Nuclear Enabling Fund. The Polish government has also announced decisions-in-principle supporting the construction of 24 BWRX-300 units at six sites.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News