Ontario Nuclear Update

OVERKILL

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Today, OPG and the provincial government announced plans to build our first commercial SMR at Darlington, which will be at the Darlington B site, which OPG has been maintaining an EA for in hopes that a government that was more keen on nuclear would gain power, which has been the case.

Coinciding with this announcement was a slightly more vague proclamation from Bruce Power that hinted at revisiting the idea of Bruce C, which would also be developed with SMR's, and it sounds like their design of choice is the Terrestrial MSR.

Bruce Power announcement:

OPG Announcement:

OPG said:
On Nov. 13, 2020, OPG announced resumption of planning activities for Darlington New Nuclear, with the goal of hosting a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) as early as 2028.

What happens next?
OPG’s Darlington Nuclear station is already an important part of Ontario’s clean energy future – the station provides close to 20 per cent of Ontario’s electricity, and the Darlington Refurbishment Projectwill ensure this world-class generator continues to provide reliable power for decades to come.
OPG currently holds a Site Preparation Licence, granted by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). To construct and operate a new reactor, further approvals, including additional CNSC licences, would be required. These licences must be obtained through an extensive regulatory process, which would include the opportunity for public input and a public hearing.
One of OPG’s current priorities is the successful renewal of the Site Preparation Licence, which was granted in 2012 and will expire in 2022. Our application will be considered by the CNSC at a public hearing in June 2021. OPG will continue Indigenous and public outreach and communications in support of the licence renewal hearing and other project information as it becomes available.


What technology will be built?
No decision on technology has been made yet; however, OPG has begun work aimed at identifying potential options. In October, OPG announced advancement of engineering and design work with three grid-scale SMR developers: GE Hitachi, Terrestrial Energy and X-energy.
Work with the three developers continues and will help inform OPG on potential options for future deployment. While OPG is now working with the three developers, a technology partner has not been selected. OPG continues to be open to potential opportunities, including from other developers, in particular if they offer a strong business case that can meet our considerations and requirements for a future project.

Exciting times!

Also, Darlington Unit 1 continues its record run. It's about a month and a half away from breaking the all-time world record for any thermal generating unit of 1,073 days.
 

irv

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Great news! (y)

I wonder if if they will be looking for a retired 56 yr old with concrete pouring experience at DNGS A to help them? 🤣
 

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OVERKILL

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SMR’s are certainly the way to go. The darn thing about full size reactors is that they always seem to go wildly over budget . Why not standardize them and bring sanity to the price. Thanks for the post.

Somewhat amusingly, at the end, we had. The CANDU 6 is a very standardized design that can be built relatively inexpensively when compared to other large designs. The pair of them constructed in the early 2000's at Qinshan cost around $4 billion.

Yet, despite that track record, it was the FOAK ACR1000 that was pursued for Darlington B???!!!

Now, if we could just get Ford to revisit the Pickering B refurbishment, that would give us another site to build SMR's on once the A side is EOL in the 2030's. I put together a site for the cause, which is a sub-project of one of the groups I'm in, Canadians For Nuclear Energy. The movement is called, appropriately, Save Pickering, and the site is http://www.savepickering.ca
 
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Somewhat amusingly, at the end, we had. The CANDU 6 is a very standardized design that can be built relatively inexpensively when compared to other large designs. The pair of them constructed in the early 2000's at Qinshan cost around $4 billion.

Yet, despite that track record, it was the FOAK ACR1000 that was pursued for Darlington B???!!!

Now, if we could just get Ford to revisit the Pickering B refurbishment, that would give us another site to build SMR's on once the A side is EOL in the 2030's. I put together a site for the cause, which is a sub-project of one of the groups I'm in, Canadians For Nuclear Energy. The movement is called, appropriately, Save Pickering, and the site is http://www.savepickering.ca

Whats the upside to that acr1000 choice? Fuel flexibility ?
Or is it political?
 

OVERKILL

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Whats the upside to that acr1000 choice? Fuel flexibility ?
Or is it political?

The ACR1000 was a novel spin to the CANDU, affording both a smaller calandria and fewer fuel channels IIRC, all while increasing power output. This was achieved by going from straight NU in the fuel bundles to a design that included LEU. This gave the unit the ability to produce ~1,200MWe.

Think of it as taking the benefits of a traditional PWR, which are smaller core size and higher power output for a given footprint (higher power density), and merging them with the advantages of the CANDU, which are online refuelling, greater fuel flexibility and the fuel-channel based design, which essentially means immortality through refurbishment (this is less and less relevant as pressure vessel lifespans are extended, FWIW).

This was the first major new CANDU design since the C9 that was developed at Bruce and culminated in the units constructed at Darlington in the 80's. All the other "new" designs have all been CANDU 6 derivatives; essentially evolutions/improvements to the mature C6. This includes the AFCR, which is the most recent incarnation and the details of which I believe I discussed in a previous thread.

AECL wanted to build their latest and greatest at Darlington, that was the push, so yes, there were definitely some politics in play. On the other hand, the C6 was indeed considered for the site and would have been the logical backup choice had the ACR proven to be too expensive. That route was never pursued, the ACR was allowed to be "the choice" until electricity in the province became so bungled and buggered up by green virtue signalling that there was no hope of taxpayer acceptance of a 20 billion dollar new build on top of that. It was then scuttled by Kathleen Wynne, who was in power at the time.

It's a bit of a sad story as after failing to secure the new build at Darlington the CANDU design and portion of AECL was sold off to SNC Lavalin. 60+ years of Canadian nuclear history sold off in the blink of an eye for a pittance.
 

Al

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Good to see.. We have designs in the U.S. but the red tape will strangle them. Supposedly for around 2030 don't expect til 2040. I'll neveer see it.

I doubt the 2 new units in Georgia ( Vogtle 3 and 4 will ever go online) TMI 1 which ultimately was one of the most successful plants in the world is closed.
 

OVERKILL

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Good to see.. We have designs in the U.S. but the red tape will strangle them. Supposedly for around 2030 don't expect til 2040. I'll neveer see it.

I doubt the 2 new units in Georgia ( Vogtle 3 and 4 will ever go online) TMI 1 which ultimately was one of the most successful plants in the world is closed.

I'm optimistic about Vogtle, it seems those units are well past the point of no return, though they of course went way over budget and time.

The US environment for new nuclear has, in recent years, not been good. China and Russia eating their proverbial nuclear lunch though appears to be drawing attention to that fact and efforts to reverse it. The next few years will be interesting to watch.
 
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Seems they have the permits and cash for the first commercial SMR to be built in the states in Idaho. Hope it happens.
 

OVERKILL

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I know that Canada mines a lot of uranium, but I thought they purposefully never built an enrichment plant. Does Canada have a uranium enrichment facility? If not, will they build one or import the enriched uranium needed for ACRs and SMRs?
 

OVERKILL

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I know that Canada mines a lot of uranium, but I thought they purposefully never built an enrichment plant. Does Canada have a uranium enrichment facility? If not, will they build one or import the enriched uranium needed for ACRs and SMRs?
The ACR is dead, so that's not one to worry about.

That was the purpose of the CANDU, because, at the time, Canada lacked enrichment capability. We do indeed produce a lot of uranium, quite a bit of it quite close to me in Port Hope and CANDU fuel bundles are produced here in Peterborough by BWXT as well as by Cameco at sites also close to me. I know that some of what comes out of Port Hope is sent stateside however, and what is sent is uranium hexafluoride, which is used for producing enriched uranium.

I don't think at this point, since we don't have any reactors that require LEU in operation, that we have any enrichment capability. However, it's something that has been studied and I expect that if the demand exists, capacity will be built to satisfy it. Here's a paper on that angle:
 
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Great news! (y)

I wonder if if they will be looking for a retired 56 yr old with concrete pouring experience at DNGS A to help them? 🤣

I got hired by a Nuclear Site in the US at age 56. The entire industry seems to be populated by a lot of older workers.
 
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