GEH, BWXT team up to support BWRX-300 deployment

20 October 2021

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) and BWXT Canada have entered into a teaming agreement to cooperate on engineering and procurement to support the design, manufacturing and commercialisation of the BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR). The BWRX-300 is one of three SMR designs under consideration for deployment at Ontario Power Generation's (OPG's) Darlington site.

GEH's impression of a BWRX-300 plant site (Image: GEH)

"Through the agreement, if the BWRX-300 is selected for deployment at Ontario Power Generation's Darlington Nuclear Generation Station, BWXT Canada could provide detailed engineering and design for manufacturability for BWRX-300 equipment and components and ultimately could supply certain key reactor components for the deployment of the BWRX-300 in Canada," GEH said.

The new agreement builds on a Memorandum of Understanding signed by GEH and BWXT Canada 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 GEH President and CEO Jay Wileman. "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."

"We are pleased GEH recognises that our unique engineering and manufacturing capabilities are readily adaptable to support deployment of the BWRX-300 in Canada," said BWXT Canada President John MacQuarrie. "Entering into this relationship with GEH provides BWXT Canada with the opportunity to participate in the deployment of BWRX-300 SMRs around the world."

In July, Cameco Corporation, GEH and Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas announced a Memorandum of Understanding to explore potential collaboration to advance the commercialisation and deployment of BWRX-300 SMRs in Canada and around the world.

The BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems that leverages the design and licensing basis of GEH's ESBWR boiling water reactor, which has been certified by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It is currently undergoing a Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission pre-licensing Vendor Design Review, or VDR.

OPG last year announced it was resuming planning activities for additional nuclear power generation via an SMR at its Darlington New Nuclear site, which is the only site in Canada currently licensed for new nuclear with a completed and accepted environmental assessment. On 13 October, the company said the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission had announced its decision to renew the existing Site Preparation Licence for the project.

The 10-year licence renewal means OPG can carry out work including excavation and grading, installation of services and utilities for future buildings, and construction of service buildings, in preparation for construction of a potential future SMR at the Ontario site.

GE Hitachi's BWRX-300 is one of three SMRS designs under consideration for deployment at Darlington. The others are Terrestrial Energy's Integrated Molten Salt Reactor and X-energy's Xe-100 high-temperature gas-cooled reactor.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News