Cameco (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ), GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas (GNF-A) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to explore several areas of cooperation to advance the commercialization and deployment of BWRX-300 small modular reactors (SMRs) in Canada and around the world.
“Nuclear power will play a massive role in the global shift to zero-carbon energy, generating a lot of momentum for emerging SMR and advanced reactor technologies,” said Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel. “Cameco intends to be a go-to fuel supplier for these innovative reactors. We’re looking forward to working with GEH and GNF to see what opportunities might exist around their novel SMR design.”
Cameco supplies uranium, uranium refining and conversion services to the nuclear industry worldwide and is a leading manufacturer of fuel assemblies and reactor components for CANDU reactors.
“We are excited to explore opportunities with Cameco to advance the commercialization of the BWRX-300,” said Jay Wileman, President & CEO, GEH. “As we work to bring the world’s first grid-scale SMR to Canada we will continue to identify strategic partners whose capabilities will support the deployment of this game-changing technology in Canada and worldwide.”
“BWR and CANDU fuel types are closely related as both use similar cladding materials as well as ceramic, uranium dioxide fuel pellets so this type of collaboration offers the potential to extract significant synergies between the two fuel designs and manufacturing processes, enabling the expansion of Canada’s local fuel supply chain capabilities,” said Lisa McBride, Canada SMR Country Leader for GEH.
The BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems that leverages the design and licensing basis of GEH’s U.S. NRC-certified ESBWR. Through dramatic and innovative design simplification, GEH projects the BWRX-300 will require significantly less capital cost per MW when compared to other SMR designs.
By leveraging the existing ESBWR design certification, utilizing the licensed and proven GNF2 fuel design, and incorporating proven components and supply chain expertise, GEH believes the BWRX-300 can become the lowest-risk, most cost-competitive and quickest to market SMR.
An independent report by PwC Canada, commissioned by GEH, estimates that the construction and operation of the first BWRX-300 in Ontario is expected to generate approximately $2.3 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), $1.9 billion in labour income and more than $750 million in federal, provincial and municipal tax revenue over its lifespan. The report estimates that each subsequent BWRX-300 deployed in Ontario and other provinces is expected to further generate more than $1.1 billion in GDP and more than $300 million in tax revenue.
This MOU is not exclusive and does not preclude GEH or Cameco from pursuing similar arrangements with other companies in the nuclear energy sector.
Cameco is one of the largest global providers of the uranium fuel needed to energize a clean-air world. Our competitive position is based on our controlling ownership of the world’s largest high-grade reserves and low-cost operations. Utilities around the world rely on our nuclear fuel products to generate power in safe, reliable, carbon-free nuclear reactors. Our shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. Our head office is in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety. Follow GEH on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF) is a world-leading supplier of boiling water reactor fuel and fuel-related engineering services. GNF is a GE-led joint venture with Hitachi, Ltd. and operates primarily through Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas, LLC in Wilmington, N.C., and Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co., Ltd. in Kurihama, Japan.