Ontario government and electric-utility officials are signaling to General Electric their plans to expand the small modular reactor project now underway at a location near Toronto. GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy is developing a 300-MW(e) small modular reactorv for Ontario Power Generation (OPG) at the Darlington New Nuclear Project site, with a target start-up date of 2028. According to a GE statement, the project’s sponsors envision three more units to follow the initial SMR now moving forward, meaning a total of four reactors there.
No schedule was provided for installing the SMRs that would follow the initial development.
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy is a venture formed in 2007 that supplies reactors and nuclear services worldwide. Its BWRX-300 process is an SMR concept 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.
The same technology is being evaluated by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for potential installation at the Clinch River Site near Oak Ridge, Tenn. Also, Saskatchewan’s SaskPower selected BWRX-300 for potential deployment in the mid-2030s.
In addition to designing the OPG reactor, GE Hitachi will provide engineering licensing support, construction, testing, training and commissioning. The development consortium also includes SNC-Lavalin and Aecon Group.
“OPG and the Province of Ontario have staked a leading position in the deployment of new nuclear with a project that will offer significant energy and economic benefits to Ontario and Canada,” stated GE Hitachi president and CEO Jay Wileman. “As a global clean energy leader, the Province of Ontario is an ideal home for this innovative project. We look forward to working closely with the SMR project partners as we build a fleet of new reactors together and demonstrate nuclear project excellence here in Canada.”