home Nuclear Technology, Pending Reactors, U OPG selects suppliers for first fuel contracts for its Small Modular Reactors

OPG selects suppliers for first fuel contracts for its Small Modular Reactors

Represents a major step toward realizing the Continent’s first SMRs

 Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced it is partnering with companies from Canada, the U.S., and France to ensure a fuel supply for the first unit of its four-unit Darlington New Nuclear Project.

The historic arrangements signal a strengthening nuclear fuel supply chain and the self-sufficiency of western nations leading the development of nuclear generation to decarbonize their economies.

Access to clean energy at large scale is becoming a key determinant of a country’s competitiveness and security. Because of our leadership in nuclear generation and supply chains, Ontario and Canada are well-positioned to work with companies from like-minded ally nations to send an important message to the world that a safe, secure, clean global energy system is achievable through nuclear power.
Ken Hartwick
OPG President and CEO

“Access to clean energy at large scale is becoming a key determinant of a country’s competitiveness and security,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG President and CEO. “Because of our leadership in nuclear generation and supply chains, Ontario and Canada are well-positioned to work with companies from like-minded ally nations to send an important message to the world that a safe, secure, clean global energy system is achievable through nuclear power.”

The four contracts will involve:

  • Canadian company, Cameco, which has uranium mines in Saskatchewan and a Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6) conversion facility in Port Hope, will supply natural UF6.
  • US-based, Urenco USA (UUSA) will provide uranium enrichment services from their operations in Eunice, New Mexico.
  • France’s Orano will provide additional Enriched Uranium Product (EUP) from their operations in France.
  • And US-based, Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas LLC, a GE-led joint venture, will provide fuel fabrication and related technical services and fuel assemblies.

Key facts

  • Earlier this year, Canada and the United States issued a statement announcing their enhanced collaboration on nuclear energy and technology, which includes determining a long-term fuel strategy.
  • OPG is building North America’s first fleet of SMRs at its Darlington New Nuclear site. The first SMR will be completed by the end of 2028, and online by the end of 2029.
  • A Conference Board of Canada study estimates the construction and operation of four SMRs will increase Ontario’s GDP by $13.7 billion and sustain, on average, approximately 2,000 jobs per year.


“Ontario is moving quickly as we deploy the first grid-scale small modular reactor in Canada and the G7 to meet our province’s growing energy demands,” said Ontario Minister of Energy Todd Smith. “With construction on the first unit scheduled to be completed in 2028 I’m pleased to see OPG reach this important agreement with Cameco, Urenco, Orano and Global Nuclear Fuel to use Saskatchewan uranium, enriched by our allies in the U.S. and France, to power the unit when it turns on.”

“Canada is a tier 1 nuclear nation with capabilities across the full spectrum of nuclear technologies, and we’re developing new technologies like SMRs to continue leading the way,” said Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development. “This announcement shows the strength of cooperation amongst likeminded allies in strengthening energy security. Securing nuclear fuel supply chains like this will ensure the continued growth of Canada’s nuclear industry, so that it can continue providing good well-paying jobs for Canadians. Congratulations to OPG and their partners Cameco, Urenco USA, and Orano and Global Nuclear Fuel.”

“Cameco is pleased to work alongside our colleagues in the industry to provide vital nuclear fuel for the Darlington New Nuclear Project,” said Cameco President and CEO Tim Gitzel. “Through our collaboration, we can ensure a strong, secure, western source of supply to fuel emerging SMR technologies like OPG’s new build. With growing recognition of the critical role nuclear power will play in supporting the clean energy transition, partnerships such as this will help strengthen and expand the nuclear fuel supply chain needed for the generation of reliable, carbon-free electricity.”

“Orano is proud to support OPG by providing Enriched Uranium Product for the Darlington New Nuclear Project,” said Orano Group CEO Nicolas Maes. “We applaud OPG’s determination to deploy first-of-a-kind technology to assist in meeting Canada’s climate goals. The development of SMR technologies is key to the production of low-carbon electricity, essential in the fight against global warming.”

“New nuclear technology will play a vital part in both the decarbonisation of electricity and the strengthening of energy security around the world,” said Urenco Chief Commercial Officer Laurent Odeh. “Urenco has the knowledge and experience to play a leading role in the supply of enriched uranium for the reactors of tomorrow and is proud to be a supplier for this innovative and exciting project in Canada with our newest customer, OPG.”

“We are proud to manufacture the fuel that will power the first grid-scale SMR in North America,” said Mike Chilton, Executive Vice President, Global Nuclear Fuel. “This collaboration with our industry colleagues allows us to support OPG in delivering clean generation to Ontario.”

About OPG

As one of North America’s largest, most diverse electricity generators, OPG invests in local economies and employs thousands of people across Ontario and the US. OPG and its family of companies are leading the development of new clean technologies, refurbishment of existing assets, and electrification initiatives to power the growing demand of a clean economy for decades to come. Learn more about how the company is advancing these initiatives while prioritizing people, partnerships, and strong communities by reading OPG’s Climate Change PlanReconciliation Action Plan, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) strategy.

About Cameco

Cameco logo

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 safe, reliable, carbon-free nuclear power. Our shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. Our head office is in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

About Orano

Orano logo

As a recognized international operator in the field of nuclear materials, Orano delivers solutions to address present and future global energy and health challenges. Its expertise and mastery of cutting-edge technologies enable Orano to offer its customers high value-added products and services throughout the entire fuel cycle. Every day, the Orano group’s 17,000 employees draw on their skills, unwavering dedication to safety and constant quest for innovation, with the commitment to develop know-how in the transformation and control of nuclear materials, for the climate and for a healthy and resource-efficient world, now and tomorrow.

Orano, giving nuclear energy its full value.

About Urenco USA

Urenco logo

Urenco USA (UUSA), operated by Louisiana Energy Services, LLC, is the only operating commercial enrichment facility in the United States. Located in southeastern New Mexico, UUSA plays an essential role in the nuclear fuel supply chain. Our focus is on providing safe, cost-effective and reliable uranium enrichment services for power generation within a framework of high environmental, social responsibility, and corporate governance standards.

UUSA is operated by a dedicated U.S. workforce and regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). UUSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Urenco Enrichment Company Limited, an international supplier of enrichment services and fuel cycle products for the civil nuclear industry, serving utility customers worldwide who provide low carbon electricity through nuclear generation.

As a leader in the nuclear industry, and with over 50 years of expertise in uranium enrichment, Urenco is well-positioned to provide the enrichment services needed to support the latest advancements and innovations in nuclear fuel production. Urenco is committed to continued investment in the responsible management of nuclear materials; innovation activities with clear sustainability benefits, such as nuclear medicine, industrial efficiency and research; and, nurturing the next generation of scientists and engineers.

About GNF

Global Nuclear Fuel logo

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.

Source: OPG