Canada’s Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and its subsidiary, Laurentis Energy Partners (LEP), have agreed to collaborate with SaskPower to advance Saskatchewan’s small modular reactor (SMR) development project. Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith and Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan Minister Responsible for SaskPower, along with company officials have now revealed details of a Master Services Agreement signed earlier this year to advance deployment of SMR technology.

The five-year LEP-SaskPower agreement will serve as a foundation for a long-term strategic partnership to streamline SMR development in Saskatchewan. LEP will focus on programme management, licensing, and operational readiness activities.

Earlier this year, SaskPower and OPG renewed an agreement to continue working together on new nuclear development, including SMRs, in both Saskatchewan and Ontario. Under the agreement, the utilities will provide mutual support by sharing lessons learned, technical resources and expertise, best practices, and operating experience. The two companies will also consider opportunities for future collaboration in other areas, including project development and plant operations.

OPG plans to build North America’s first fleet of SMRs at its Darlington New Nuclear The first of four SMRs is expected to be completed by the end of 2028, and online by the end of 2029. SaskPower has work to identify suitable sites for a nuclear facility to potentially construct the province’s first SMR by the mid-2030s. Saskatchewan will decide whether to proceed in 2029. OPG and SaskPower have selected the GE Hitachi BWRX-300 SMR for potential deployment in their provinces.

Through these agreements, the companies will coordinate and enable industry suppliers in Ontario and in Saskatchewan to support a Canadian fleet of SMRs. OPG, SaskPower and LEP will work with post-secondary institutions in both provinces to enable and bolster applied research and skills capacity.

“The world is watching Ontario as we deploy the world’s first grid-scale small modular reactor to power our province’s growth,” said Energy Minister Todd Smith. “Ontario is ready to support partners across Canada – like Saskatchewan – and around the world, leveraging the expertise of our world-class nuclear operators and supply chain to support their deployment of small modular reactors as a clean and reliable source of electricity.”

Saskatchewan’s Dustin Duncan noted the strong relationship between Ontario and Saskatchewan. “Together, our two provinces will continue to build shared prosperity, opportunity, and leadership. Today’s agreement is not only good for Saskatchewan and Ontario, but will protect sustainable energy security in Canada for decades to come.” In 2022, Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Alberta released a joint strategic plan for the deployment of SMRs.

LEP President & CEO Jason Van Wart said: “Based on Ontario’s leadership in the Darlington New Nuclear Project and the experience gained to date through our various international SMR collaborations, Laurentis is well positioned to provide expertise and immediate project support for SMR development in Saskatchewan."

OPG President and CEO Ken Hartwick said OPG is able to help Saskatchewan add nuclear to its supply mix. “Through these agreements, we are using a fleet-style approach, which will increase efficiency and decrease costs as we deploy much-needed new nuclear generation in both provinces.”

SaskPower President & CEO Rupen Pandya said OPG and LEP “bring decades of combined experience in the Canadian nuclear industry, and this expertise is something that will be extremely valuable as part of our SMR development project”.

Image: Saskatchewan Minister Responsible for SaskPower, Dustin Duncan (third from left) and Ontario Energy, Minister Todd Smith (second from right) at the unveiling of the collaborative agreement

Date: Saturday, 25 November 2023
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