Report highlights economic benefits of Canadian SMR deployment

03 June 2021

The construction of the first BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) in Ontario will generate about CAD2.3 billion (USD1.9 billion) in GDP, CAD1.9 billion in labour income and more than CAD750 million in federal, provincial and municipal tax revenue, PwC Canada has estimated in an independent report commissioned by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH).

(Image: GEH)

Transforming Canada’s energy future: The socio-economic impact of GE Hitachi SMRs estimates the potential economic benefits that would result from job creation, local supply chain development, manufacturing, construction, operation and tax revenue generated by the deployment of BWRX-300 in Canada. Each subsequent BWRX-300 deployed in Ontario and other provinces is expected to generate over CAD1.1 billion in GDP and CAD300 million in tax revenue.

Each BWRX-300 that is constructed globally is expected to generate about CAD98 million in GDP for Canada and more than CAD45 million in total tax revenue through the purchase of Canadian machinery and equipment.

"This report highlights that the deployment of our grid-scale SMR technology in Canada and future export activity would bring considerable and lasting economic benefits," GEH President and CEO Jay Wileman said. "We are committed to helping Canada meet its decarbonisation goals and become a global leader in SMR technology. With growing customer interest globally, we believe the BWRX-300 is ideally positioned to unlock significant export opportunities for Canadian companies."

The BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems that leverages the design and licensing of GEH’s US Nuclear Regulatory Commission-certified ESBWR. Using this design certification, licensed and proven GNF2 fuel and incorporating proven components and supply chain expertise, the company says its SMR can become the lowest-risk, most cost-competitive and quickest to market.

Noting that GEH wants to commercialise and manufacture the BWRX-300 in partnership with Ontario Power Generation (OPG), PwC says: "If these plans move forward, the BWRX-300 will be developed and constructed in Ontario, with efforts to engage local suppliers. OPG’s initiative would be the first commercial deployment of a grid-scale SMR in Canada. GE’s work with OPG would be a base for future SMR deployment in Ontario, other parts of Canada, and internationally."

OPG's Darlington site is the only one in Canada currently licensed to host a new nuclear plant. It has said an SMR could be developed there as early as 2028, and that it is working with three grid-scale SMR developers - GEH, Terrestrial Energy and X-energy to advance engineering and design work.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News