Permitting submissions made for New Brunswick SMR

03 July 2023

NB Power, in partnership with ARC Clean Technology Canada Inc, has submitted an environmental impact assessment registration document and an application for a site preparation licence for an advanced small modular reactor (SMR) at the existing Point Lepreau nuclear site.

Bill Labbe and Lori Clark (Image: NB Power)

NB Power, operator of the existing Candu plant at Point Lepreau, recently published a strategic plan which highlights the need to phase out coal by 2030 and achieve net-zero electricity supply by 2035, while maintaining energy security.

The governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Alberta in 2022 released a joint strategic plan setting out a path for developing and deploying SMRs. Deployment of ARC Clean Technology Canada Inc's ARC-100 100 MWe sodium-cooled fast reactor in New Brunswick, with a fully operational unit at the Point Lepreau site by 2029, is a key objective of Stream 2 of that plan, and the submission of the environmental impact assessment registration document to the Department of Environment and Local Government and an application for a Licence to Prepare Site to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) mark an important milestone for the project, the partners said.

"To transition to a cost-effective, clean and secure energy supply, we are exploring new ways of delivering energy to customers. Small modular reactors are part of the solution to reach our target of being net-zero by 2035 and ensure that we are meeting the needs of New Brunswickers today and into the future," NB Power President and CEO Lori Clark said.

"The milestone achieved today demonstrates that ARC and NB Power continue to be industry leaders in the development and deployment of advanced nuclear technology in Canada," said Bill Labbe, president and CEO of ARC Clean Technology Canada, Inc. "We have an unprecedented opportunity to grow the low-carbon economy of the future, and ARC looks forward to the open and transparent public licensing processes that are now beginning."

The ARC-100 is currently undergoing the second phase of the CNSC's pre-licensing Vendor Design Review process, having completed the first phase in 2019.

NB Power said it expects to develop strategic partnerships to support the construction and operation of the SMR.

Deployment of SMR technology has also been envisaged in northern New Brunswick, where the Belledune Port Authority has said an ARC-100 providing energy for hydrogen production and other industries could be in operation by 2030-2035.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News