RC106 MayJune2023 - Magazine - Page 14
An artist’s rendering of
a GE-Hitatchi BWRX300 small modular
reactor, proposed for
the Darlington New
Nuclear Project site in
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced that it has partnered
with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, SNC-Lavalin, and Aecon to construct
North America’s first Small Modular Reactor (SMR) at the Darlington
New Nuclear Project site.
The agreement represents an innovative contracting approach for
a nuclear project in North America. Under terms of the agreement,
GE Hitachi, SNC-Lavalin, Aecon, and OPG will provide a diverse range
of expertise and services as part of an integrated project delivery
model to develop, engineer and construct a BWRX-300 SMR, with
construction to be complete by late 2028.
“Working with these three companies, OPG is leveraging decades of
nuclear energy and large project experience to deliver much-needed
new, reliable electricity generation to Ontarians,” said Ken Hartwick,
OPG president and CEO.
“Ontario is one step closer to securing our legacy as a world
Nation (WLON)-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and
the other in the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON)-South
Bruce area in southern Ontario. The proposed site in the
WLON-Ignace area would be in crystalline rock, while
the proposed site in the SON-South Bruce area would be
in sedimentary rock.
“In 2024, one of the sites will be selected to host the
repository, which will only proceed with interested communities, First Nation and Metis communities, and local
municipalities working together,” says Baker.
“Following a multi-step process that includes field
investigations, a comprehensive regulatory decision-making process and ongoing community and public engagement, the DGR will begin construction.”
Construction is tentatively slated to begin by 2033 and
will take approximately 10 years at an estimated cost of
$4.5 billion. Once completed, transportation of used nuclear fuel to the repository will begin. Baker estimates it
could take up to 50 years to complete the transportation,
handling, and placement of the used fuel inventory in the
repository. After that, the site will be monitored before
being decommissioned and closed.
RENEW CANADA – MAY/JUNE 2023
leader in cutting-edge nuclear technology,”
said Todd Smith, Ontario’s Minister of Energy.
“Canada’s first grid-scale SMR at the Darlington
site will help ensure a reliable, affordable
and clean electricity system, increase export
opportunities and support our success in driving
All parties will manage the project as an
integrated team and each company will play
a specific role in successfully completing the
Darlington New Nuclear Project:
OPG The license holder; OPG will maintain
overall responsibility for the project, including
operator training, commissioning, Indigenous
engagement, stakeholder outreach and oversight.
GE HITACHI The technology developer;
responsible for design, procurement of major
components, and engineering and support.
SNC-LAVALIN The architect engineer; provides
design, engineering, and procurement support.
AECON The constructor; will provide construction planning and
A $32 million contract was awarded last year to Niagara-based E.S.
Fox, fabricator, and constructor, to deliver early site preparation work,
including water supply, electrical power, information technology and
“Following our on-time, on-budget success working with OPG on
the refurbishment of Darlington’s existing CANDU reactors, we are very
pleased to contribute our expertise with our alliance partners on this
exciting new build,” said Joe St. Julian, president, Nuclear, SNC-Lavalin.
“Aecon is proud to bring our proven, full spectrum of expertise to
deliver this exciting new nuclear build—leading the way in deploying
the next generation of plants and guaranteeing the production of
clean, reliable and affordable electricity in Ontario,” said Jean-Louis
Servranckx, president and CEO, Aecon Group Inc.
“Over the next 20 years, both the transportation planning framework and transportation plan will continue to
evolve through regular review, ongoing public input and
site specific refinement, as the project advances through
the site selection process to regulatory approvals, construction and operation,” says Baker.
The deep geological repository will use a multiple-barrier system designed to safely contain and isolate used
nuclear fuel over the very long term. The repository will
consist of a network of placement rooms that will store
the used nuclear fuel.
According to Baker, this approach aligns with international best practices being used in countries such as
Finland, Sweden, France, and Switzerland where deep
geological repositories are also planned.
At Finland’s Onkalo repository on Olkiluoto Island,
construction is well under way by nuclear waste management firm Posiva Oy. Final disposal is scheduled to start
At the surface, there will be facilities where the used fuel
is received, inspected, and repackaged into purpose-built
containers—weighing 8,000 kilograms and made of thick
ONTARIO POWER GENERATION
BUILDING NORTH AMERICA’S FIRST SMALL MODULAR REACTOR