GEH SMR Technologies Canada Ltd and the Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Supplier’s Association (SIMSA) have agreed to cooperate to support the potential deployment of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) in Saskatchewan.
Through a memorandum of understanding, GEH SMR Canada and SIMSA agreed to collaborate in engaging with local suppliers to maximise the role of the Saskatchewan supply chain in the nuclear energy industry, they say. This could potentially see uranium from Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin come into the SMR nuclear mix.
“Canada has a robust nuclear energy supply chain and through this memorandum of understanding with SIMSA, we look forward to growing the supply chain further to support the deployment of the BWRX-300,” Lisa McBride, Country Leader, GEH SMR Canada, said.
SIMSA is a non-profit organisation which includes over 300 member companies in Saskatchewan from the manufacturing, construction, engineering, mining and energy sectors. SIMSA seeks to connect local member businesses in traditional and emerging industries to nuclear opportunities in Saskatchewan, in order to drive economic growth and job creation while supporting innovation.
Eric Anderson, Executive Director of SIMSA, said: “SMRs are a safe and practical solution to decarbonising Saskatchewan’s power grid. SIMSA and its members will take a leading role in their deployment in order to see the greatest economic benefit land in Saskatchewan.”
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) has been selected by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) as the technology partner for the Darlington New Nuclear Project. GEH is working with OPG to deploy a BWRX-300 at the Darlington site that could be complete as early as 2028, it says.
GEH has also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Cameco and Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas to explore several areas of cooperation to advance the commercialisation and deployment of BWRX-300 small modular reactors (SMRs) in Canada and around the world.
In March, the governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Alberta released a strategic plan for the deployment of SMRs. The plan identified priority areas for SMR deployment including Stream 1, a grid-scale SMR project at the Darlington nuclear site and subsequent units in Saskatchewan.
GEH’s support for the Canadian nuclear industry dates back to the early 1950s. The company helped build the first Canadian nuclear power plant, the Nuclear Power Demonstration reactor, that became the basis for the entire CANDU fleet. Today, GEH is partnering with several Canadian firms as it builds a supply chain to support deployment of the BWRX-300. Advanced nuclear technologies like the BWRX-300 are a key pillar of GE’s energy transition leadership.
The BWRX-300 (graphic, pictured) is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems that leverages the design and licensing basis of GEH’s US NRC-certified ESBWR (Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor). Through dramatic and innovative design simplification, GEH projects the BWRX-300 will require significantly less capital cost per MW when compared with other SMR designs.