Small Modular Reactors

Canada / Government Announces CAD50.5 Million Funding For Moltex SMR

By David Dalton
18 March 2021

Ottawa says investment will play ‘critical role’ in plans for world-class, non-emitting energy system
Government Announces CAD50.5 Million Funding For Moltex SMR
A computer-generated image of the proposed Moltex SMR power plant. Courtesy Moltex.
The government of Canada is investing CAD50.5m ($40.5m) in Moltex Energy to design and commercialise a molten salt reactor and spent fuel recycling facility that could lead to the country operating the world’s first such unit by the early 2030s.

This funding will help Moltex develop a reactor that will produce emissions-free energy through a process that recycles existing used nuclear fuel to produce non-emitting energy. The government said the technology has the potential to reduce storage needs for existing used nuclear fuel and could lead the way in establishing a first-of-its-kind, world-class non-emitting-energy system for Canada and the world.

“Our government supports the use of this innovative technology to help deliver cleaner energy sources and build on Canada’s global leadership in small nuclear reactors,” said François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry.

He said Canada must lay the foundation for a better-prepared, healthier and more prosperous country. “The investment announced today will play a critical role in fighting climate change and will boost Canada’s economic stabilisation after the [Covid-19] pandemic,” he said.

Moltex, founded in 2012, said it was “thrilled” and “extremely grateful” for the federal government’s support.

Rory O’Sullivan, chief executive officer of Moltex Energy in North America, said: “We are significantly closer to our goal of new clean energy generation, and the many economic and environmental benefits that come with it.”

Moltex plans to build the world’s first 300 MW stable salt reactor at the Point Lepreau nuclear power station site in Saint John, New Brunswick. It will use the plant to provide carbon-free electricity to the grid by the early 2030s.

In addition to Moltex, the and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) provided CAD4.9m to NB Power and $561,750 to the University of New Brunswick to strengthen a cluster of small modular reactor businesses in New Brunswick province.

Last month, New Brunswick premier Blaine Higgs announced that the province will hand New Brunswick-based ARC Clean Energy CAD20m to support development of its ARC-100 SMR technology.

ARC and Moltex both have operations in Saint John, a seaport city on the Atlantic Ocean which is hoping to develop and market the technology for SMRs.

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