Funding is for demonstration of a Westinghouse eVinci plantSaskatchewan Research Council aims to build a demonstration Westinghouse eVinci microreactor. Courtesy Westinghouse.
The premier of Saskatchewan in Canada has announced CAD80m (€53m, $58m) in funding for a first nuclear microreactor that could be operational by 2029 and will “open the door for future deployments across the province”.
The funding was awarded to the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) to pursue the demonstration of a Westinghouse eVinci microreactor in Saskatchewan.
SRC said it will apply the research and knowledge gained from the licensing and deployment of an initial microreactor to support the Saskatchewan nuclear industry to better understand this type of technology and the potential for future microreactor projects in the province.
“This project has the opportunity to be transformative for our economy, industry and communities,” premier Scott Moe said. “Microreactors provide a custom solution for Saskatchewan’s unique energy needs.”
“This first microreactor will open the door for future deployments across Saskatchewan,” minister responsible for SRC Jeremy Harrison said. “These deployments will create economic development opportunities and jobs."”
Westinghouse said in a statement that “the location of the eVinci microreactor will be determined as the project progresses”. It said the surrounding infrastructure for an eVinci plant is less than two thirds the size of an ice hockey rink.
SRC president and chief executive officer Mike Crabtree said SRC’s vision is to see the first eVinci microreactor in an industrial application and lay the groundwork for many more projects in the future.
“What we learn through this project will prepare SRC to assist communities and industries in future projects,” he said
The eVinci is classified as a microreactor capable of producing 5 MW of electricity, over 13 MW of high temperature heat, or operating in combined heat and power mode.
Westinghouse president and chief executive officer Patrick Fragman said the eVinci battery technology is the perfect fit for Saskatchewan since it is fully transportable. “It provides carbon-free electricity and heat, uses no water, and can be completely removed from site after operating continuously for eight years or more,” he said.
SRC is Canada’s second largest research and technology organisation. It provides services and products to its 1,600 clients in 22 countries. SRC operated a Slowpoke-2 nuclear research reactor for 38 years before decommissioning it in 2021.
In February, Westinghouse said it had begun a joint licensing process with US and Canadian regulators for the eVinci.