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Canada’s Regulator Receives First Licence Application For Small Modular Reactor

By David Dalton
3 April 2019

3 Apr (NucNet): Canada’s nuclear regulator has received the country’s first licence application to build a small modular nuclear power reactor.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission said the application, from Global First Power with support from Ontario Power Generation and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, is to deploy a micro modular reactor (MMR) plant at Chalk River in Ontario.

The companies confirmed their submission of the application, which is in response to an invitation issued in April 2018 by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories for the construction and operation of an SMR demonstration unit at a CNL-managed site.

In February Global First Power’s proposal became the first to advance to the third stage of CNL’s four-step review process, meaning the GFP consortium could discuss land arrangements, project risk management, and contractual terms.

In 2017, CNL set the ambitious goal of siting an SMR on a CNL-managed site by 2026. It received 19 expressions of interest from technology developers interested in building a prototype or demonstration reactor at a CNL site.

In February Terrestrial Energy and Starcore Nuclear completed the pre-qualification stage of the same invitation process.

The proposed GFP project includes a nuclear plant containing an MMR unit. The plant will provide approximately 15 MW (thermal) of process heat (up to 5 MW of electricity) to an adjacent plant where it will be converted to electrical power or heat for clients. The electrical power could also be supplied to the area grid.

“The MMR technology is an economically competitive alternative to greenhouse gas emitting diesel power and heat generation, with a smaller environmental footprint,” GFP said.

GFP said it hopes that the MMR system will replace diesel in remote mines and communities that do not have access to the electricity grid as well as provide broad benefits in addressing energy-related issues in the indigenous communities in the north.

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