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Utility interested in potential deployment of SMRs in the mid-2030s

Canadian utility SaskPower has signed an agreement with GE Vernova’s nuclear wing for the possible deployment of small modular (SMR) reactor technology in Canada’s Saskatchewan province.

SaskPower said cooperation will involve project planning and expertise-sharing on the BWRX-300 SMR, covering design, fuel sourcing, fabrication, and workforce and supply chain planning.

The company said it selected the GE Hitachi BWRX-300 as the technology for its SMR development plans, and this agreement marks a significant step in advancing clean energy goals in Saskatchewan.

The agreement with GE will enable SaskPower to obtain essential technical and engineering details, said SaskPower.

“Gaining detailed technical specifications, requirements and designs to the BWRX-300 is necessary for our planning work and license applications,” according to Rupen Pandya, SaskPower president and chief executive.

In November 2023, SaskPower agreed to work with utility Ontario Power Generaion (OPG) and its subsidiary Laurentis Energy Partners on the advancement of its SMR programme.

SaskPower is aiming to deploy SMRs in Saskatchewan in the mid-2030s, with a construction decision earmarked for 2029.

BWRX-300 SMR is to be deployed by OPG at its Darlington nuclear power station in Ontario by the end of the decade. Poland’s Orlen Synthos Green Energy and Estonia’s Fermi Energia are also eyeing the GE SMR design.

In September 2022, SaskPower said it had chosen two sites in Saskatchewan for the potential construction of an SMR. The company said an area will be selected by 2023, with a specific site chosen by 2024.

In August 2023, Canada approved up to CAD 74m (€50m, $54m) in federal funding for SMR development in Saskatchewan.

The money would go for pre-engineering work, technical studies, environmental assessments, regulatory studies and community engagement to help SaskPower move its SMR plans forward.

Date: Saturday, 03 February 2024
Original article: nucnet.org/news/saskpower-and-ge-hitachi-agree-to-cooperate-on-bwrx-300-advancement-in-saskatchewan-2-5-2024