Electricity system leaders advance SMR technology to help meet decarbonization targets
CLARINGTON, ON, Aug. 17, 2022 /CNW/ – New nuclear technology to help meet growing electricity demand and achieve net-zero emissions targets is progressing in both Canada and the United States, thanks in part to a collaboration between two of North America’s leading generators, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
Former OPG and current TVA president and CEO Jeff Lyash joined OPG president Ken Hartwick at Darlington Nuclear, the future home of Canada’s first grid-scale Small Modular Reactor (SMR), to discuss the companies’ actions to deploy SMRs in Canada and the US.
New nuclear generation, including SMRs, is an essential part of the electricity mix to help decarbonize the energy sector on both sides of the border. The safe, carbon-free, reliable supply of electricity from nuclear power is especially necessary as electricity demands increase due to electrification of higher-emitting sectors, including transportation.
OPG is deploying an SMR at its Darlington site, the only location in Canada licensed for new nuclear construction with an approved Environmental Assessment. OPG recently announced a contract with ES Fox to proceed with early site work, including water, electrical power, information technology, and roads. The work will begin when necessary permits and regulatory approvals are in place.
TVA currently holds the U.S.’s only Nuclear Regulatory Commission Early Site Permit for SMR deployment at its Clinch River Nuclear site near Oak Ridge, TN.
The two companies agreed earlier this year to work together to mitigate the financial risk that comes with development of innovative technology, as well as future deployment costs.
- OPG announced plans late last year to collaborate with GE Hitachi on SMR engineering, design, planning, preparing the licencing and permitting materials, and performing site preparation activities, with the mutual goal of constructing Canada’s first commercial, grid-scale SMR by the end of this decade at the Darlington New Nuclear site.
- OPG also recently announced plans to work with X-energy to pursue opportunities to deploy Xe-100 SMRs to decarbonize heavy industry applications in Canada.
- At the same time, Global First Power, a company jointly owned by OPG and USNC-Power, is working toward constructing a Micro Modular Reactor as a demonstration project at Chalk River in Ontario. This type of reactor is ideal for off-grid use and could be used for remote or northern power production.
- TVA has entered a two-party agreement with GE Hitachi to support TVA’s planning and preliminary licensing for a potential deployment of a BWRX-300 SMR at the Clinch River Nuclear site, and provide additional information needed as TVA continues to analyze the viability of SMRs in the Valley, subject to future TVA Board approval. This follows an April 2022 collaboration agreement with OPG to support the development of SMRs.
“Reaching net zero will require all the tools in the toolbox – and that includes safe, carbon-free nuclear power,” said OPG President and CEO Ken Hartwick. “Working together, OPG and TVA are demonstrating environmental leadership while leveraging our extensive expertise in safely producing the electricity needed in our jurisdictions to advance new nuclear technology and cleanly power the future.”
“At TVA, we believe advanced nuclear technologies will play a critical role in our nation’s drive toward a cleaner energy future,” said TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash. “Canada and the U.S. have a rich history of partnership for the greater good. Today, we have an opportunity to build on that partnership and make nuclear energy an impactful contributor to a carbon-free energy future for all of North America.”
“Ontario is a trusted leader in nuclear expertise internationally, and with new nuclear technologies − like SMRs − we’re leveraging our first mover status to build economic and environmental opportunities for our province, our country and the world,” said Todd Smith, Ontario Minister of Energy. “It’s clear that there is no path to a clean energy future without nuclear. I applaud OPG and TVA for continuing to collaborate and lead the way in their efforts to keep the electricity system clean, reliable and affordable.”
As a global climate change leader and the largest, most diverse electricity generator in the province, OPG and its family of companies are helping lead the charge to a post-carbon economy.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.
SOURCE Ontario Power Generation Inc.