Canada’s first grid-scale small nuclear reactor being built at Darlington site

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Site preparation is underway for Canada’s first grid-scale small modular reactor (SMR) at Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) Darlington nuclear site.

Niagara-based E.S. Fox was awarded the contract in March for early site preparation work, including water supply, electrical power, information technology and road services, paving the way for the SMR to be constructed by 2028. This work is valued at $32 million.

“Ontario is clearly leading the world when it comes to new nuclear technologies,” said Todd Smith, minister of energy. “The Darlington SMR, part of our larger plan to ensure a reliable, affordable and clean electricity system, will ensure that we have the electricity we need to support our success in driving electrification and attracting new jobs to the province including unprecedented investments, from electric vehicles and battery manufacturing to clean steelmaking.”

The new SMR at Darlington will be Ontario’s first nuclear reactor build in a generation. This project alone will deliver 300 MW of electricity, which is enough to power 300,000 homes.

darlingtonIt’s the beginning of the government’s larger plan to meet emerging energy needs and ensure a reliable, affordable and clean electricity supply including:

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy was named as OPG’s technology development partner to deploy a BWRX-300 SMR at the Darlington new nuclear site.

Ontario currently has 15 nuclear reactors in operation – and three reactors under refurbishment – at three sites, providing over 50 per cent of the province’s clean electricity. The Darlington SMR will be the first new reactor in the province since 1993.

“This project leverages OPG’s decades of experience in providing reliable, safe and affordable electricity as well as Ontario’s strong nuclear supply chain to develop the next generation of nuclear power. The electricity produced by the SMR at Darlington will help ensure we meet Ontario’s growing energy needs, as electrification drives demand,” OPG president and CEO Ken Hartwick said in a statement.


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