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- Westinghouse Gets CAD27.2M for eVinci Micro Reactor
- Canada / Four Provinces Announce Ambitious Plans For SMRs
Westinghouse Get CAD27.2M for eVinci Micro Reactor
The Canadian Ministry of Innovation, Science and Industry has granted Westinghouse Electric Canada CAD27.2 million (USD21.5 million) to support further development and progress towards licensing of its eVinci micro reactor
In an email statement, a ministry spokesperson said that the investment will support funding for the development and eventual licensing of the eVinci micro-reactor. The spokesman said the grant was made because smaller size of the reactor design will result in a more accessible, widespread, and transportable nuclear source of energy with additional security and regulations to ensure its safety.
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the investment of CAD27.2 million in Westinghouse Electric Canada, inc., to support its $57 million project so that its next-generation SMR, the eVinci micro-reactor, can be successfully licensed in Canada. The advanced reactor is designed to be transportable in two standard size shipping containers.
He said, “This technology has the potential to provide a more accessible and transportable source of low-carbon energy.”
“By investing in this project, the Government of Canada is supporting innovation that will help communities that rely on heavy-polluting diesel fuel to transition to a cleaner source of energy, while creating and maintaining more than 200 well-paying and full-time jobs in Canada’s energy sector.”
Eddie Saab, President, Westinghouse Electric Canada, welcomed the decision to fund the firm’s work towards licensing the design in Canada,
The federal contribution is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund’s Net Zero Accelerator initiative, which is a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy.
The ministry said in a press statement that Westinghouse Electric Canada’s project supports the government’s Innovation and Skills Plan by helping build a highly skilled workforce and advancing research in new foundational technology—a key component for future economic growth and innovation. It also supports Canada’s SMR Action Plan, which outlines a long-term vision for the development and deployment of this technology in Canada and worldwide. (YouTube video)
The Ministry said that the grant is based on a cost reimbursable method. In an email statement it said,
“The proposed reactor technology is expected to be cost-competitive to operate and will provide a low-carbon source of electricity for applications like off-grid industrial sites. This contribution is reimbursed based on costs incurred by the company, ensuring that government support is provided as the company successfully completes the project.”
Nuclear Engineering International reported that Canada’s SIF fund has previously made grants to two SMR projects: a CAD 20 million investment for Terrestrial Energy to accelerate development of its Integral Molten Salt Reactor and CAD 47.5 million to Moltex Energy to help develop its 300MWe Stable Salt Reactor-Wasteburner (SSR-W) technology.
Q&A With Westinghouse on Scope of Work for the Grant
A spokesman from Westinghouse provided email responses to questions about the scope of work.
What is the technical scope of work that Westinghouse will carry for in return for the CAD27.2 million in funding?
The scope is divided into multiple workstreams that support the work required for licensing and deployment of the eVinciTM micro-reactor. The primary scopes of work includes research, development and demonstration of micro-grid, remote monitoring system, installation platform design, and refueling. The award will also support Canadian supplier development and completion of the Vendor Design Review (VDR) process with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
What are the expected deliverables associated with grant?
Westinghouse will create and maintain many new permanent jobs, partner with academic institutions, and commit to significant research and development spending in Canada.
What are the major milestones for doing the work and what is the overall schedule for completing it?
Each workstream has a set of key milestones to ensure integration with Westinghouse’s overall development plan as well as completion prior to the project end date. The overall project will be completed by March 31, 2026.
Also, in February 2018 Westinghouse submitted an application to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for a combined Phase 1 & Phase 2 vendor design review (VDR). There is no other information. What is the status of the application and has any work on the VDR taken place, if so, what?
The application was initiated in 2018 and remains in-process. Finalization of the application is anticipated in the second quarter of 2022. Westinghouse is working with CNSC to establish a schedule for the combined Phases 1 and 2 VDR that is aligned with both organization’s resources. Westinghouse has initiated development of preliminary combined Phases 1 and 2 VDR work.
Status of eVinci at the CNSC
In terms of regulatory review at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), according to a reply to an email inquiry, the agency said the firm submitted an application in February 2018 for a combined Phase 1 & Phase 2 Vendor Design Review which is a pre-licensing process. However, the agency also said that there has been some recent activity.
“We have recently met with Westinghouse and continue to work on completing the service agreement. At this time, the status remains the same,” the agency said.
Five other Canadian small modular and micro reactor vendors have completed Phase 1 of the Vendor Design Review.
SMR and Micro Reactors in Vendor Design Review at CNSC
- Seven of 14 designs have reactor outlet heat values greater than 500 C. These designs are advanced reactors with longer times to market than light water designs.
- Four of seven are HTGR; Three are molten salt
- Seven of 13 designs are using either TRISO or HALEU fuel with U235 > 5%.
- Testing and qualifying fuels, and buying HALEU fuel in commercial quantities are key challenges for these developers.
Status of eVinci at NRC
In the US in November 2021 Westinghouse submitted a regulatory engagement plan for the eVinci reactor to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In its cover letter, the firm said, “This plan is an update to the version submitted in January 2020 and covers the planned preapplication interactions with the NRC in support of future Westinghouse eVinci micro-reactor license.”
The plan includes information on the basic design of the e Vinci micro-reactor as well as the regulatory strategies envisioned including design, manufacturing, and transportation phases of deployment. According to the NRC, in a February 2022 update, said the eVinci design is between 200 kWe to 5 Mwe,
About the eVinci Micro Reactor
Key Attributes of eVinci Micro-Reactor: Fact Sheet
- Transportable energy generator
- Fully factory built, fueled and assembled
- Delivers combined heat and power – 5 MWe and up to 13MWt
- 8+ years of full power operation prior to refueling
- Target less than 30 days onsite installation
- High speed load following capability
- High reliability and minimal moving parts
- Capable of autonomous operation
- Near zero Emergency Planning Zone with small site footprint
- No spent fuel or waste storage on site
- Simplified decommissioning and remediation
Prior Coverage on this Blog: Westinghouse Launches New SMR Effort
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Canada / Four Provinces Announce Ambitious Plans For SMRs And New Class Of Microreactor
(NucNet) A new strategy calls for Canada to become ‘world-leader’ in advanced nuclear technology. Four provincial governments are pushing ahead with a plan to develop nuclear power in Canada with calls for the federal government to back ambitious plans for small modular reactors (SMRs) and a new class of Generation IV micro-SMR for remote communities and mines.
The four provinces – Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick and Alberta –put forward the proposals in a strategic plan to expand the nuclear industry through the development of SMRs, saying they provide a source of safe, clean power. The provinces assert that Canada’s early adoption of SMRs would position the nation as a world-leader in new nuclear innovation and a global SMR technology hub.
The provinces are calling for a grid-scale SMR project of 300 MWe constructed at the Darlington nuclear site in Ontario by 2028 with subsequent units to follow in Saskatchewan.
Late last year OPG chose GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy as its technology partner on a new SMR planned for Darlington, with the first grid-scale BWRX-300 plant scheduled to be completed by 2028. It is a 300 MWe SMR based on the firm’s larger 1500 MWe BWR design.
The provinces want to see four advanced SMRs developed in New Brunswick and a new class of micro-SMR designed primarily to replace the use of diesel in remote communities and mines. A 5 MWe gas-cooled demonstration project is under way at Chalk River, Ontario, with plans to be in service by 2026.
The strategic plan builds on the provincial power utilities’ SMR Feasibility Study, requested by the provinces as part of the MOU, which concluded that SMR development would support domestic energy needs, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and position Canada as a global leader in clean technologies and the fight against climate change.
The strategic plan says Canada could become an exporter of global SMR technology for on-grid and off-grid applications. But it says there will need to be a strong nuclear regulatory framework that focuses on the health and safety of the public and the environment while ensuring reasonable costs and timelines.
It calls for federal government commitments on financial and policy support for new SMR technologies and “a robust nuclear waste management plan for SMRs”.
Key Elements of the SMR Plan
According to World Nuclear News, the plan identifies five priority areas for SMR development and deployment:
- Positioning Canada as an exporter of global SMR technology by propelling three separate streams of SMR development, covering both on-grid and off-grid applications.
- Promoting a strong nuclear regulatory framework that focuses on the health and safety of the public and the environment while ensuring reasonable costs and timelines.
- Securing federal government commitments on financial and policy support for new SMR technologies that would lead to vast economic benefits across the country and help meet emissions reduction targets.
- Creating opportunities for participation from Indigenous communities and public engagement.
- Working with the federal government and nuclear operators on a robust nuclear waste management plan for SMRs.
The three separate streams of SMR technology development envisaged under the plan are:
Stream 1: A grid-scale 300 MWe SMR project to be constructed at the Darlington nuclear site in Ontario by 2028, followed by units in Saskatchewan with the first unit projected to be in service in 2034. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has announced GE-Hitachi as the preferred technology developer for the Darlington SMR project, and early site preparation works have begun.
Stream 2: Two fourth-generation, advanced SMRs to be developed in New Brunswick: ARC Clean Energy is targeting 2029 for its ARC-100 advanced sodium-cooled fast neutron SMR to be fully operational at the Point Lepreau nuclear site by 2029. Moltex Energy is aiming to have both a used fuel recovery system and Stable Salt Reactor in operation by the early 2030s, also at Point Lepreau.
Stream 3: A new class of micro-SMRs designed primarily to replace the use of diesel in remote communities and mines. Global First Power, a joint venture between OPG and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, is proposing to build a 5 MW micro-SMR at the federally owned Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario, aiming for an in-service date of 2026.
SMRs are scalable and versatile nuclear reactors that typically produce 300 MW of electricity or less. They can support large established grids, small grids, remote off-grid communities and resource projects. The strategic plan says a 300-MW SMR could generate enough clean electricity each year to power 300,000 homes.
SMRs can provide stable baseload clean energy to complement renewable energy sources such as wind and solar while micro, or off-grid, SMRs can be used to displace diesel generation used in mining in remote areas, and heat and electricity generation in northern remote communities.
Prior Coverage on this blog: Canada’s SMR Developers Focus on Process Heat
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