NB Power, ARC Move Forward with Small Modular Reactor

Electricity power lines over a sunset

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by | Jul 6, 2023

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Electricity power lines over a sunset

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NB Power and ARC Clean Technology Canada have made new strides toward constructing and operating an advanced small modular reactor on the site of an existing nuclear power plant in New Brunswick.

NB Power, the provincial electric utility that has been around for more than 100 years, submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment registration document to the Department of Environment and Local Government and a (License) to Prepare Site Application to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission on the advanced Small Modular Reactor project. The new reactor project will be on the site of the existing Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station in New Brunswick.

Clean energy company ARC has been working on the development of the ARC-100, a modular, advanced sodium-cooled fast reactor that will generate at least 100 megawatts of electricity, since 2018. NB Power has provided technical support for the project. The project is the first deployment of an on-grid advanced SMR facility in Canada and is considered to be a key objective of Stream 2 of the “Strategic Plan for the Deployment of Small Modular Reactors,” a strategic plan prepared by the governments of New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan in 2022.

The plans come as NB Power recently launched its strategic plan, dubbed Energizing Our Future, with the goal of phasing out coal by 2030 and achieving net-zero supply by 2035 while maintaining energy security. 

“To transition to a cost-effective, clean, and secure energy supply, we are exploring new ways of delivering energy to customers,” Lori Clark, president and CEO of NB Power, said in a statement. “Small modular reactors are part of the solution to reach our target of being net-zero by 2030 and ensure that we are meeting the needs of New Brunswickers today and into the future.”

The company expects to develop strategic partnerships to complete the reactor project, which will help provide accountability, transparency, and long-term sustainability for the project.

SMR projects have been the source of some excitement in the energy sector for some time with their potential to store energy. Earlier this year, Dox and X-energy partnered to develop an advanced nuclear reactor to make chemical compounds. 

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