home Nuclear Attitude, Nuclear Technology, U Choosing Canadian Generation IV SMR would reward Ontario with once-in-a-generation economic windfall

Choosing Canadian Generation IV SMR would reward Ontario with once-in-a-generation economic windfall

· Next-generation (“Generation IV”) nuclear reactor power plants have enormous potential to replace fossil fuel plants in Canada’s and the world’s energy grids

· Exporting commercial nuclear power plant technology could contribute more to the Canadian economy than automobile manufacturing by 2050

· Only Generation IV reactor technology will improve the economics of nuclear power generation sufficiently to allow Canada to maximize the benefits and perpetuate its traditional leadership in commercial nuclear power

· Choosing a Canadian Generation IV reactor technology, rather than a technology developed outside of Canada, has the greatest potential to boost employment for Canadian companies many times over and maximize GDP benefits for Ontario and Canada

Oakville, Ont. – November 8, 2021 – Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) choice of a first-of-a-kind Small Modular Reactor (SMR) for the Darlington New Nuclear Project (DNNP) will open up global export markets for the chosen SMR technology anticipated to be worth many hundreds of billions of dollars over the next several decades, according to a report prepared by Hatch Ltd., one of the world’s leading management, engineering and project delivery firms. However, Canadian suppliers, as a group, will likely only fully realize these significant benefits if a made-in-Canada and next-generation (“Generation IV”) SMR technology is selected.

The report, commissioned by Terrestrial Energy and released today, stresses that the “extent to which Canada and Ontario are able to capture the catalytic benefits will depend on the SMR technology chosen for the DNNP – the catalytic benefits are unlikely for a SMR technology developed outside of Canada as they will accrue instead to the country-of-origin of the SMR technology selected.”

Terrestrial Energy announced on September 14 its upgraded IMSR®400 power plant, which consists of twin Integral Molten Salt Reactors and generators to produce 390 MW of clean electricity from one facility. The IMSR®400 is one of three SMR power plant designs under consideration by OPG for deployment at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. It is one of two Generation IV SMR technology candidates under consideration, and the IMSR® is the only Canadian SMR technology candidate.

Commenting on the advantages of Generation IV technology, the Hatch report notes that the “use of molten salt Generation IV technology with its high thermal efficiency, application of an innovative design, smaller scale, and use of modular techniques, makes the IMSR®400 technology cheaper, easier to construct, and less risky than conventional nuclear power plants.”

The report estimates that the design, construction, ongoing operations, and eventual decommissioning of Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR®400 power plant at Darlington would result in catalytic economic benefits for Ontario, and nationally for Canada, of a scale that likely represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Hatch estimates that the design and construction of a single IMSR®400 at Darlington alone is expected to create over $3.0 billion in total GDP over the nine-year design and construction phase and support an average of 2,100 total jobs per year. In addition, the operation of the plant will generate over $4.5 billion in GDP over its operating life and 580 total jobs for the Canadian economy each year in operation. Over the life of the Darlington plant, Hatch estimates that an IMSR®400 power plant at Darlington would generate nearly $6.6 billion of GDP for Ontario and $7.9 billion of GDP for the Canadian economy.

The Darlington plant will be one of the first commercial SMRs in the world and as a consequence it will serve as a reference plant for future SMR deployments, Hatch says. These follow-on deployments, both in Canada and internationally, will catalyze a tremendous first-mover advantage in Canadian and international markets for whichever SMR technology is selected for Darlington and its associated supply chain.

The IMSR®400 is a born and bred Canadian power plant design and technology and Terrestrial Energy’s Oakville operation represents the largest SMR power plant technology development project in Canada. Since 2013, Terrestrial Energy has extensively engaged the Canadian nuclear supply chain to support the IMSR®’s development. This uniquely positions Terrestrial Energy’s Canadian supply chain to play a key role in the development and deployment of IMSR®400 plants domestically and internationally.

Under a roll-out scenario where the IMSR®400 contributes to the replacement of existing nuclear generating capacity and in a modest expansion of nuclear energy globally, the Hatch report estimates these catalytic impacts will include an additional 12,900 direct, indirect, and induced jobs in the Canadian engineering, reactor manufacturing, uranium mining, and fuel manufacturing sectors, contributing an incremental $2.0 billion per year to Canadian GDP from 2025 to 2050.

Under a roll-out scenario where nuclear energy is tapped to play a bigger role in the displacement of fossil fuels as part of a successful clean energy transition to net-zero by 2050, the report estimates that economic impacts for Ontario and Canadian suppliers in Terrestrial Energy’s supply chain from this export opportunity would increase by a factor of 10 over this period. This would lead to Canadian firms capturing up to $6.1 billion of revenue annually for engineering services, up to $6.4 billion annually from manufacturing and exporting components, including the IMSR® reactor vessel, and an average of $14.8 billion annually for fuel manufacturing. This would increase Canada’s GDP by $25.8 billion per year and support 170,600 total jobs. Putting these estimated impacts into perspective, the report notes they significantly exceed those generated by Canada’s automobile manufacturing sector today.

“Hatch is excited to be involved in the Ontario and Canadian community supporting Terrestrial Energy’s IMSR® development and deployment program, and our study reinforces the strong Canadian supply chain which is built on local talent and capability such as Terrestrial Energy’s,” said Robert Francki, Global Managing Director for Energy at Hatch. “The IMSR® supply chain will create a strong strategic position for Ontario and Canada as nations pursue the enormous opportunities from Generation IV SMR technology and compete in a global market for zero-emission power generation.”

“This month, national leaders have been gathering in Glasgow for COP26 to discuss our planet’s transition to a net-zero economy and lay out credible pathways to achieve net zero. There is nothing modest about the task at hand nor the financial rewards from the cleantech innovations that make consequential contributions to the effort,” said Simon Irish, CEO of Terrestrial Energy. “The IMSR®, a Canadian Generation IV nuclear technology, developed in Canada with its many Canadian supplier partners, can make that contribution to net zero for Canada and for Canada’s trade partners, and the Darlington SMR project is the springboard. This is the once-in-a-generation environmental moment and a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Canada to build an industry of great export potential.”

To read the report summary click here.

About Terrestrial Energy

Terrestrial Energy is a developer of small and modular nuclear power plants that use its proprietary Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR®) technology. IMSR® is a non-Light Water Reactor that uses Generation IV technology to generate electricity 50 percent more efficiently than conventional nuclear reactor technology. The IMSR® represents a step-change improvement in economics, versatility and functionality of nuclear power plants that is possible only through Generation IV technology. IMSR® power plants will provide

resilient, reliable, dispatchable, zero-carbon and cost-competitive electric power, as well as high-grade industrial heat for use in many industrial applications, such as chemical synthesis, hydrogen production and desalination, and in so doing extend the application of nuclear energy far beyond electric power markets. IMSR® power plants have the potential to make important contributions to industrial competitiveness, energy security, and economic growth. Their deployment will support rapid global decarbonization of the primary energy system by displacing fossil fuel combustion across a broad spectrum and can scale to meet net-zero policy goals of major industrial economies. Using an innovative design, and proven and demonstrated molten salt reactor technology, Terrestrial Energy is engaged with regulators and industrial partners to complete IMSR® engineering and to commission first IMSR® power plants in the late 2020s.

Source: Terrestrial Energy