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Source: GE

  • MOUs with five Canadian nuclear energy suppliers also announced
  • Vendor Design Review of BWRX-300 continues with additional submittals

WILMINGTON, North Carolina—October 6, 2020—GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) today announced that it will be working with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to progress options for the potential deployment of small modular reactors in Ontario including GEH’s BWRX-300 SMR, a major step in making the Canadian SMR Roadmap a reality. GEH will provide detailed information on the design process, licensing, scheduling and contracting that will help inform OPG on options for siting an SMR in Ontario.  

GEH intends to develop a supply chain of Canadian companies to support the project and today announced that it has entered into Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with five Canadian companies. The MOUs with Aecon Nuclear, BWXT Canada Ltd., Hatch Ltd., Black & Veatch and Overland Contracting Canada Inc. (a Black & Veatch Company) form the foundation for the establishment of a Canadian supply chain to support potential BWRX-300 construction and provide future services and components. Through the MOUs GEH intends to cooperate in areas that include construction, engineering, modularization and manufacture of safety-related components. All five companies have extensive nuclear industry experience.

“Our design-to-cost approach ideally positions the BWRX-300 to help OPG consider options for future deployment of affordable, clean and reliable energy,” said Jay Wileman, President & CEO, GEH. “We are excited about working with OPG and Canadian suppliers to fulfill our vision to construct and operate a BWRX-300. We also believe this technology can serve other provinces that are looking to nuclear energy to help Canada meet its decarbonization goals.”

“GE applauds the bold leadership and commitment of the Canadian government and the provinces who have been strong advocates for nuclear power,” said Heather Chalmers, President/CEO of GE Canada. “GE has operated in Canada for 128 years and we are honored to be a part of this effort. Our cutting-edge innovation and global expertise will support economic development efforts in Canada, while also helping to reduce carbon emissions. We are confident this collaboration will lead to success for this ground-breaking technology and pave the way for others to follow.”

“OPG is leveraging more than 50 years of nuclear experience to support the development of carbon-free nuclear technology. Our work with these three developers, along with our partnership with Global First Power and its SMR project to support remote energy needs, demonstrates OPG’s unique position to become a world leader in SMRs,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG President and CEO. “SMRs will play a key role in helping to re-invigorate Ontario’s economy and further support the province and Canada as they work toward meeting their climate change targets of zero-emission electricity.” 

In 2018, OPG and other nuclear industry members participated in the development of “A Call to Action: A Canadian Roadmap for Small Modular Reactors” which notes that SMRs can compete with other low-cost forms of electricity generation and that Canada can succeed in adding SMRs to the energy mix. 

In April 2020, GEH conducted a webinar for Canadian suppliers interested in providing material, equipment and services in support of the possible BWRX-300 construction in Canada. GEH is planning to conduct supplier forums in the coming months and is committed to working with Canadian organizations and stakeholders to involve Indigenous companies in its supply chain strategy.

GEH continues to make considerable progress in advancing BWRX-300 technology in Canada. Last month, GEH made additional submittals to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for the Vendor Design Review (VDR) of the BWRX-300. The submittals related to eight focus areas including core design, nuclear fuel, emergency core cooling, deterministic safety analyses and probabilistic safety analyses. GEH made its first VDR submittals to the CNSC early this year and has now provided information related to 16 of the 19 focus areas. 

The BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems that leverages the design and licensing basis of GEH’s U.S. NRC-certified ESBWR. Through dramatic design simplification, GEH projects the BWRX-300 will require significantly less capital cost per MW when compared to other water-cooled SMR designs or existing large nuclear reactor designs.

By leveraging the existing ESBWR design certification, utilizing a licensed and proven nuclear fuel design, incorporating proven components and supply chains and implementing simplification innovations the BWRX-300 can, GEH believes, become cost-competitive with other forms of generation. As the tenth evolution of GE’s first Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) design, GEH’s BWRX-300 represents the simplest, yet most innovative BWR design since GE began commercializing nuclear reactors in 1955.

About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety. Follow GEH on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About OPG

OPG is a climate change leader and the largest clean electricity generator in the province, providing more than half of the power Ontarians rely on every day. It is also one of the most diverse generators in North America, with expertise in nuclear, hydroelectric, biomass, solar and natural gas technologies.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Jon Allen
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
+1-910-819-2581
[email protected]

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