Canada commits to small nuclear

Canada has joined the list of countries that are investing in small nuclear reactor (SMR) technology with a planned new build at the Darlington power plant by 2028.

Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is a Canadian nuclear power station located on the north shore of Lake Ontario in Clarington, Ontario. It is a large nuclear facility comprising four CANDU nuclear reactors with a total output of 3,512 MWe when all units are online.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG), GE Hitachi (GEH), SNC-Lavalin and Aecon are the parties that will develop, engineer and construct a new SMR at OPG’s Darlington New Nuclear Project.

The aim is to begin supplying power to the grid in 2029. 

OPG president and CEO Ken Hartwick claimed the agreement put together by the four companies is “truly innovative” and will also guide future nuclear projects both in Canada and globally. 

The Darlington site is the only Canadian location currently licensed for new nuclear, with an accepted environmental assessment and a site preparation licence already in place. 

GEH will be responsible for design, procurement of major components, and engineering and support for the Darlington plant. “We aim to deliver the first SMR in North America and, in doing so, lead the start of a new era of nuclear power that will provide zero-emission energy generation, energy security and energy reliability around the globe,” GEH president and CEO Jay Wileman said.

SNC-Lavalin will provide engineering and building expertise, including project management, licensing, engineering, design, procurement, construction support and commissioning, as well as digital delivery capabilities in both the nuclear island and balance of plant scopes for the project. 

Aecon is to provide all construction services, including project management, construction planning and execution.