The three companies are Global First Power (GFP), Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) and Ontario Power Generation (OPG). The joint venture is owned equally by OPG and USNC-Power, the Canadian subsidiary of USNC, and is based on a project which was initiated in 2019 by GFP.
GFP, based in Ottawa, will oversee the proposed MMR project and provide project development, licensing, construction and operation of a planned commercial demonstration reactor at Chalk River.
The project will serve as a model for potential future microreactor projects across Canada. The aim is to build reactors that can provide sustainable low-carbon power and heat to industries such as mining and remote communities.
GFP, USNC and OPG have been collaborating on the Chalk River Project for several years. In a joint statement the three companies said the partnership demonstrates their commitment to making small nuclear reactors a reality for Canada and a viable alternative to diesel and other fossil fuels.
“The backing of OPG combined with USNC’s advanced reactor and fuel designs will allow us to continue to lead the way in delivering a small-reactor solution in Canada,” said Joe Howieson, Global First Power’s chief executive officer.
The MMR project is in the third stage of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ four-stage process to site a demonstration small modular reactor at Chalk River Laboratories, a site owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and operated by CNL.
The 15 MWt, or about 5 MW electrical, MMR project is currently undergoing an environmental assessment.
The MMR consists of two plants: the nuclear plant that generates heat, and the adjacent power plant that converts heat into electricity or provides process heat for industrial applications. The system is designed to be uniquely simple, with minimal operations and maintenance requirements, and no o-site fuel storage, handling, or processing.