GE Hitachi & BWXT working together to design, build SMR at Ontario’s Darlington nuclear site

Illustration credit GE Hitachi

Nuclear equipment firm BWXT’s Canadian subsidiary is partnering with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy on an engineering and procurement deal to support design and manufacturing of a small modular nuclear reactor.

The agreement would facilitate development work on the BWRX-300 SMR. The projected model is a 300-MW water-cooled reactor and is the 10th evolution of the boiling water reactor design.

The BWRX-300 would be deployed at Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington Nuclear Generation Station. OPG and its project partners are planning for an SMR plant at the conventional nuclear plant’s site.

BWXT Canada will provide detailed engineering and design for BWRX-300 equipment and components and ultimately could supply certain key reactor components for the deployment of the BWRX-300 in Canada. The agreement builds on a Memorandum of Understanding that GEH and BWXT Canada signed in June 2020.

“This agreement with BWXT Canada is a significant milestone in our efforts to build a Canadian supply chain to advance the deployment of the BWRX-300 in Ontario,” said Jay Wileman, President & CEO, General Electric Hitachi. “The ability of BWXT Canada to manufacture these key reactor components could help establish Ontario as a global manufacturing hub for our highly engineered equipment.”

GEH’s BWRX-300 is based on the NRC-licensed 1.5-GW ESBWR boiling water reactor design. Th3 company estimates that it could operate at close to combined cycle gas turbine plants at close to $2,250 per kWh.

Ontario Power Generation recently gained license renewal from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for site preparation work for the SMR project at Darlington. OPG hopes to complete the SMR plant by 2028.

Nuclear power generates emissions-free electricity but is considered too costly compared to other forms of generation late. The SMR option offers a smaller footprint, simplified design and lower cost potential, according to reports.

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Content around SMRs and next-gen nuclear will be offered when POWERGEN International happens live Jan. 26-28 in Dallas. Registration is now open for PGI.

Author

  • Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and the online POWERGEN+ series. He is a 13-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper journalist and trade publication editor. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and rod.walton@clarionevents.com.

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