General Electric
An illustration of GEH’s BWRX-300 small modular reactor.

GE’s Small Modular Reactor Project Gains Initial Clearance

March 20, 2023
GE Hitachi’s 300-MW(e) nuclear power plant design passed two phases of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s design review process, keeping it on track for startup by 2028.

The 300-MW(e), small modular reactor that GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy is developing for an Ontario electric utility has passed the first two stages of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC) Vendor Design Review process. The joint-venture supplier of reactors and nuclear services reported its involvement in the project earlier this year.

“The BWRX-300 is the first SMR technology to have completed two phases of the CNSC’s VDR process,” reported GE Hitachi EVP Sean Sexstone. “The successful completion of these phases and the feedback that we have received on our SMR design are important steps in the deployment of this technology.”

GEH is preparing to install its BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) for Ontario Power Generation at its Darlington Nuclear Site Clarington, Ont.

The OPG planners selected the BWRX-300 technology in 2021, and the development consortium that also includes SNC-Lavalin and Aecon Group aims to have the plant operating by 2028.

The BWRX-300 is based on licensed reactor technology and proven components, according to the developer, and uses a combination of fuel available in operating reactors, so it does not require high-assay low-enriched uranium.

Small modular reactors are a type of nuclear power plant conceived to have a generating capacity of up to 300 MW(e), which is about one-third of the power produced by of a traditional nuclear power reactor, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The concept aims to appeal to utility firms and regulators because it promise to produce large amounts of electricity without carbon emissions, and with construction and operation costs below other nuclear-power generating technologies.

GE Hitachi reports the BWRX-300 has been identified by utilities in Tennessee and Saskatchewan, as well as several developers in Europe.

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