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Corporate agreement furthers Canadian SMR collaboration

Ontario Power Generation subsidiary Laurentis Energy Partners (LEP) and Saskatchewan utility SaskPower have announced details of a Master Services Agreement that will see them collaborate to advance the deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) in Saskatchewan.

The LEP-SaskPower agreement will run for up to five years and serves as a foundation for a long-term strategic partnership to streamline SMR development in Saskatchewan, the companies said. The agreement will see LEP – which has offices in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan as well as Ontario – focus on programme management, licensing, and operational readiness activities.

The new agreement is the latest development in the ongoing collaboration between SaskPower and Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Last year, SaskPower selected GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s BWRX-300 SMR for potential deployment in the province in the mid-2030s, the same technology that Ontario Power Generation (OPG) had already selected for deployment at its Darlington New Nuclear Project where the first of four SMRs is to be completed by the end of 2028, and online by the end of 2029.

Earlier this year, SaskPower and OPG renewed an agreement to continue working together on new nuclear development, including SMRs, in both provinces, providing mutual support by sharing lessons learned, technical resources and expertise, best practices and operating experience, as well as considering opportunities for future collaboration in areas including project development and plant operations.

OPG President and CEO Ken Hartwick said the company’s long experience in building, operating and maintaining nuclear power plants will help Saskatchewan to add nuclear to its own generation 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,” he said.

OPG and LEP’s decades of combined experience will be extremely valuable for SaskPower’s SMR project, SaskPower President and CEO Rupen Pandya said. “SaskPower’s clean energy transition is part of a global transformation to a sustainable future – and the best path forward on this journey is through collaboration,” he added.

Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Alberta in 2022 released a joint strategic plan for the deployment of SMRs, and the BWRX-300 is being advanced for deployment in countries including Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic.

The world is watching Ontario as it works to deploy the world’s first grid-scale SMR, Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith said. “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,” he added.

SaskPower is working to identify suitable sites for the deployment of SMRs in the mid-2030s, subject to a decision to build that is expected in 2029. Saskatchewan’s Minister Responsible for SaskPower Dustin Duncan said the strategic partnership between SaskPower, OPG, and Laurentis is an example of ongoing collaboration between the two provinces across many sectors and industries. “Today’s agreement is not only good for Saskatchewan and Ontario, but will protect sustainable energy security in Canada for decades to come,” he said.

Source: World Nuclear News