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Episode #65: 'Taking Small Modular Reactors From Hype To Reality In Ontario' With Robin Manley, Ontario Power Generation [an Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast]

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To foster the clean energy transition, the power sector has been seeking out all the carbon-free generation sources possible. Existing nuclear plants have long held a key role in providing clean energy to the grid, but North America has largely stalled when it comes to new nuclear power plants to take on more of the growing power demand patterns, owed to high capital costs, lengthy construction timelines, and more. Looking to take advantage of the carbon-free nature of nuclear power while avoiding those common pitfalls, small modular reactors (SMRs) have become a key area of focus for many industry stakeholders.

SMRs are still a future consideration, though, with none yet commercially connected to the grid. That's closer than ever to changing though, as Ontario Power Generation recently made waves in their selection of the SMR model they're going to implement, the GE Hitachi BWRX-300. Ontario Power Generation is making a big leap by being the first mover in this space that has countless eyeballs following it, so podcast host Jason Price and producer Matt Chester were thrilled to welcome Robin Manley, OPG's VP of New Nuclear Development to discuss the selection process and what it means for the utility to pioneer this space.

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Thanks to the sponsor of this episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast: West Monroe

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TRANSCRIPT

Jason Price: 

Hello, and welcome to this week's episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast, the show that brings leading minds to discuss the latest challenges and trends transforming and modernizing the energy systems and the utility industry of the future. And a quick thank you to West Monroe, our sponsor of today's show. Now let's talk energy.

Jason Price: 
I'm your host, Jason Price, Energy Central podcast host and director of West Monroe, coming to you from New York City. With me, as always, from Orlando, Florida is Energy Central Producer and Community Manager, Matt Chester. Matt, are you ready for today's guest?

Matt Chester: 
I sure am, Jason. You know, here on the podcast we definitely pride ourselves in talking about the most timely of topics in the utility industry. And I think today we're going to hear more in depth about one of the more buzzworthy news items in the past few weeks. I'm excited for that.

Jason Price: 
Agreed. Well today, we're going to get an inside perspective from one of the more significant announcements in the past few months related to nuclear energy. Specifically, we're pleased to welcome, as our guest, Robin Manley, the VP of new nuclear development at Ontario Power Generation, or OPG.

Jason Price: 
At the end of 2021, Ontario Power Generation announced the selection of the GE Hitachi BWRX-300 as its first small modular reactor. This announcement made quite the wave in Energy Central, as people are eager to see the first SMR come to the commercial grid. So we were thrilled to hear Robin was open to chatting with us about that, and about how OPG is broadly seeking to implement a cleaner energy mix.

Jason Price: 
As way of introduction, Robin has spent over three decades with Ontario Power Generation working his way through various roles at facilities, including Darlington Nuclear Generation Station, Pickering Nuclear Generation Station, and now today, where he leads his team in developing new nuclear assets.

Jason Price: 
Robin is a treasure trove of experience and expertise. So enough talking about him. Let's talk to him. Robin Manley, welcome to the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast.

Robin Manley: 
Thank you very much, Jason and Matt. I really appreciate the opportunity to be here today to talk with you and your listeners about the things that Ontario Power Generation, or OPG, is doing to bring clean energy options to the table. And specifically our small modular nuclear reactor program.

Jason Price: 
Robin, let's start at the basics. How has Ontario Power Generation approached the ongoing energy transition? What are the goals you've set? And do you have a general framework of how you intend to reach any milestones you've set?

Robin Manley: 
Definitely. A few years ago, we started looking at what to do about climate change. And last year we issued a climate change strategy, which has two really major goals in it. One is to be a net-zero carbon company by 2040. And the other is to enable jurisdictions in which we operate to be net-zero economies by 2050.

Robin Manley: 
And to do that, we developed a variety of key pillars as to how we were going to go about it, including other clean energy sources. Refurbishing our existing nuclear generation site at Darlington so that it will operate for another 30 years. Repowering and expanding where possible our hydroelectric fleet.

Robin Manley: 
Working on electrification of our province, so as to decarbonize other sectors. We've established two programs so far, our Ivy Charging Network for electric vehicles, and our PowerON electric bus program to support the Toronto transit commission. And nuclear reactors, small modular reactors, as another clean energy source.

Jason Price: 
Great. Well, I'd love to do dive deeper into the power generation mix you've been talking about, and planning to implement in the wake of the type of climate urgency you've raised. So are you moving to renewables at full speed ahead? Are you looking to natural gas as a bridge fuel? What is the ideal mix in the coming years that we should expect?

Robin Manley: 
I'd say that the ideal mix really varies from location to location. What are the natural resources that you have available to you? Do you have a large hydroelectric capacity in your local neighborhood, in your state or your province or your country? Are you a place that has a lot of sun a long time during the day and a lot of the time during the year? Do you have a lot of wind?

Robin Manley: 
If you don't have a lot of capacity in those areas, what are you going to use? And this is where nuclear, which can be built practically anywhere, comes into play as a safe, clean, reliable baseload generation source.

Robin Manley: 
In Canada, we have set targets that will not allow us to use natural gas for very much longer. By 2035, the Canadian electricity grid is supposed to be carbon neutral. So unless carbon capture and storage really takes off and succeeds, that's not really going to be an option.

Robin Manley: 
We are using in Ontario Natural Gas, and in fact, my company OPG does have a natural gas subsidiary, but it is investigating the use of hydrogen and our ability to make hydrogen in a clean way. So non-GHG emission creation of hydrogen as a clean fuel. And can that be used to displace diesel in transportation fleets?

Robin Manley: 
Can that be used to replace natural gas as a kind of peaking energy source on the system for when you need additional capacity to backstop renewables? And how do all of these things work well with your existing hydro and potential nuclear assets?

Robin Manley: 
So we really view this as an, all tools in the toolbox are necessary. That's what the international experts, like the United Nations IPCC says. We're going to need all the clean energy resources. That's what the International Energy Agency says. And we agree with that strategy, which is why we have a multifaceted approach.

Jason Price: 
Perfect. You mentioned nuclear, and we teed that up at the beginning in the intro. So Ontario Power Generation has made some notable news in recent months regarding being a leader with nuclear technologies, such as the small modular reactors, or SMRs.

Jason Price: 
Let's talk about that. Give us some more specifics around this and what kind of progress you've been making in this area.

Robin Manley: 
Absolutely. So Ontario Power Generation already operates a fleet of 10 CANDU reactors, and we actually own another eight that are operated by Bruce Power in Ontario. And we've been running nuclear power plants safely since about the early '70s, early 1970s.

Robin Manley: 
But some of these CANDU reactors are coming towards the end of their lifetime, which is our Pickering station. Others, at Darlington, we are refurbishing to run another 30 years. So we were looking at what's the next generation of nuclear technology. And this term, it's kind of like a brand, if you will, of small modular reactors has become much talked about over the last few years.

Robin Manley: 
So we started looking into that, and I'll talk more about that later. But we started looking into small modular reactors as being smaller, simpler, faster to build, lower capital cost to get into place. And with advanced safety features that have been learned from all the generations of reactors that went before them.

Robin Manley: 
We think that this is a very promising tool to deploy, because nuclear is the lowest GHG emissions, the lowest carbon-emitting technology in the world, according to a UN panel. And we have found that they have been a tremendously effective resource for clean, reliable baseload power in Ontario since the '70s.

Jason Price: 
Talk to us about what went into the technology decision to implement SMRs. And specifically, what's unique about the BWRX-300?

Robin Manley: 
Right. As we started looking at the potential for small modular reactors to be a useful tool for us in OPG and in Ontario, starting in 2019 and going through the end of 2021, so over a three-year process, we did a multi-phase, very, very deep dive into all the SMR, all the new nuclear reactor technologies that were out there.

Robin Manley: 
And we started by basically saying, "Okay, there's something like 150 potential technologies that are being developed that are brand new, innovative, exciting. But we need some screening criteria."

Robin Manley: 
So first off, it's got to be the right size of plant. We were looking for something that would be very well suited to replace coal plants. And again, at a simple, small, low capital cost. We settled on something a size of around 300 megawatts of electric output, which is a typical size for a coal plant.

Robin Manley: 
And we said, "Okay, we don't want something, for geopolitical reasons, we don't want something that's coming from Russia or China." So looking at the Western world technologies, based out of Canada, the US, Europe, for example. We screened it down to a top 10 list of ones that looked like they had the right technological readiness level that would be deployable on a timeframe that makes sense for us.

Robin Manley: 
We were looking at something to be deployed by about 2028, which made sense for us in terms of our electricity grid demand. And it's also soon enough that it would then be useful to be deployed by fast-follower companies and jurisdictions in other parts of the world, for them to help fight climate change.

Robin Manley: 
So we took that top 10 list, we did a relatively short evaluation based on available information from those 10 companies, and we screened it down to six. And those six, we did a due diligence dive on in 2020 to identify which ones could credibly be ready on our timeframe, had the right safety features that we wanted, and were seriously interested in deploying first in Canada. Which was one of the things we were looking for.

Robin Manley: 
From there, we screened it down to three, which was, the company's called Terrestrial, GE Hitachi with its BWRX-300, and X-energy with its Xe-100. And we looked at those three for the last year, all through 2021. We had three engineering teams with people looking at the cost, the safety features, the supply chain, technological readiness, licensing in Canada, compliance to our existing approved environmental assessment that we have for our site at Darlington.

Robin Manley: 
We picked what we thought was the best fit. The reason we picked the BWRX-300 ultimately is, it was the best fit for us, for our site, in terms of our timeline, in terms of cost, safety features, licensing, and its ability to provide this clean, reliable baseload generation.

Robin Manley: 
And to really kick off a fleet of these reactors, not just in Ontario, but hopefully in other provinces in Canada, and hopefully in other countries. We've already seen a great deal of interest from other jurisdictions in this decision, and potentially following along behind us with this technology.

Jason Price: 
Thank you for that. So the decision to make this leap seems to have been backed by a lot of thought. Were there other external factors? You mentioned some of the geopolitical, but what about more locally, the regulatory requirements of the landscape working for and against nuclear energy?

Robin Manley: 
Sure. In Ontario, there's a lot of support for new nuclear, because there has been such a successful use of it in our province over the last five decades. So good support here in Ontario.

Robin Manley: 
At a Canadian federal government level, the support is a bit more nuanced. They're open to additional nuclear, and there's been some limited funding from the federal government for nuclear technology development, both in Ontario and New Brunswick. So that's good.

Robin Manley: 
The regulatory regime in Canada is very open to new technologies. Our regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, has a robust regulatory framework, but it's got flexibility built into it in terms of technology. The regulator has expressed an interest in enabling innovation, while maintaining its "safety above all" mandate. The sort of regulatory framework is there.

Robin Manley: 
In Canada, we have a strong nuclear supply chain that has essentially been recapitalized over the last few years because of a large investment in refurbishing, basically rebuilding, the nuclear power plants at Darlington and at the Bruce site. The supply chain is in good shape, and is ready, and wants to, engage in manufacturing and building the components for these SMRs.

Robin Manley: 
And we see an opportunity for Canada to be part of a global market and global supply chain in deployment of this technology. Obviously working with our partners in the US, where this technology is based out of GE Hitachi. And so, we intend to work closely with the supply chain in the US and in Canada, and hopefully commercialize these in other parts of the world.

Jason Price: 
Okay, well, the future is, of course, developing in terms of power demand, right? With vehicle electrification, building electrification, and so on, and the potential product of hydrogen being two of the most significant factors. So how does the specter of this growing demand influence the direction OPG has gone?

Robin Manley: 
Yeah. So when we look at the demand for electricity and clean power, it isn't enough to just have a carbon neutral electricity grid. It isn't enough to decarbonize the electricity grid. Because, just using my province as an example, but it's the same idea elsewhere.

Robin Manley: 
Our electricity grid in Ontario is already about 94% carbon free. It's one of the best in the world, along with France. Others aren't so clean. But no matter where you are, every jurisdiction uses a lot of fossil fuel in vehicles, transportation, home heating, industry, and other sectors.

Robin Manley: 
Even if we have a clean electricity grid, it's not enough to fix the climate change problem. So we need to decarbonize other sectors. And we in Ontario think that the best way to do that is essentially to electrify most sources of power.

Robin Manley: 
So whether that's making clean fuel, with clean electricity. Whether it's battery storage, whether that battery storage is pumped up by wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, however. But you need a clean energy source. You need the storage capacity. And you need the clean fuels for things that don't run on batteries or directly connected to the grid.

Robin Manley: 
So, with that fundamental structure in mind, what we've been doing is looking at hydrogen, and there might be other clean fuel options, that you want to produce not by burning natural gas, or burning coal, obviously, because that's dirty hydrogen. That's actually worse than not having hydrogen at all.

Robin Manley: 
You want to produce the hydrogen in a clean way. We're definitely investigating that. And we've done forecasts within our company of what that kind of demand forecast looks like. We've also talked with the independent electricity system operator in Ontario, and they've got their forecasts.

Robin Manley: 
Essentially what it's saying is, we need to approximately double or triple the amount of clean energy that we produce. This is in parts of the world have a high producing economy already. But in parts of the world that have a lower standard of living, that are still building up their economy, that are still industrializing, the challenge is even greater. They're going to have an even greater demand for clean power.

Robin Manley: 
So there's really an enormous amount of infrastructure that is going to have to be built around the world that produces this clean power. And that's going to lead to a lot of jobs in the manufacturing, construction, distribution sectors. So I see a lot of opportunities ahead of us.

Jason Price: 
I know you've also talked about using the expertise you're gaining in these technologies to assist other regions and companies to implement SMRs toward climate goals. How exactly would that work?

Robin Manley: 
Honestly, we don't know exactly how it's going to work, but I'll give you some preliminary insights anyway. OPG, because of a combination of factors. Our existing excellent nuclear power plant operations. Our very good performance in our nuclear refurbishment program, where we're bringing this $12.8 billion program in, on budget, on schedule, which is relatively unusual in big nuclear projects.

Robin Manley: 
We've demonstrated that we can do major nuclear projects well. And so we have, with an existing approved site for new nuclear, nuclear excellence in operations. Nuclear excellence in refurbishment.

Robin Manley: 
We have the opportunity to be the first mover in the small modular reactor space. Where we recognize that not everyone, not every company or jurisdiction, might have either that experience or risk tolerance. Someone needs to go first. It's been identified as the most fundamental challenge is, everyone's watching who's going to go first.

Robin Manley: 
So we've decided we're going to do it. And we're going to build this first one on schedule, on budget. Demonstrate that it can be done well, that it can be operated safely. And we will be figuring out all of the engineering, all of the costs. And then be willing to share with others, so that they can learn from our experience and hopefully then implement their own programs, building upon the work that we have done.

Robin Manley: 
Exactly what those structures will look like? Those kind of details need to be settled. But that's one of the things the worldwide nuclear programs do very well. Whether it's working through the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. Whether it's working through the World Association of Nuclear Operators. Users groups on certain technologies.

Robin Manley: 
We share and collaborate better than any other industry that I'm aware of. Because we all want to be successful, we want to operate safely, and we want to operate effectively and efficiently. We're willing to be the leaders in this one, and hopefully help others to follow along and work with us.

Jason Price: 
Well said. Well, now it's time to put you to the test with our lightning round. So Robin, this is where we dig into who our guests are behind the expertise, and getting to know you on a more personal level. So your responses will be just one word or phrase. Are you ready?

Robin Manley: 
Sure.

Jason Price: 
Great. Your dream vacation?

Robin Manley: 
Cycling in Tuscany.

Jason Price: 
Your go-to comfort food?

Robin Manley: 
Pasta bolognese.

Jason Price: 
Best advice you've ever gotten?

Robin Manley: 
Don't worry too much about things you can't control.

Jason Price: 
What would you be doing for a career if not in energy?

Robin Manley: 
Lead guitarist in a rock band.

Jason Price: 
What are you most optimistic about?

Robin Manley: 
Tom Brady wins another Super Bowl.

Jason Price: 
That's great, Robin. Now we want to give you the last word. Given everything we've discussed, and knowing you're speaking directly to an audience of utility decision-makers, what piece of advice do you have to offer from your experience implementing the clean energy mix at OPG? What lessons do you hope to impart to your peers so they don't have to learn them on their own?

Robin Manley: 
Thanks very much for the opportunity to be here with you today, to share some thoughts. I'd say that in this area around implementation of a major project, for example, new nuclear technology. It's not something that can be done easily or lightly. It is definitely a significant challenge. It takes a lot of work.

Robin Manley: 
And so our program for small modular reactors is based upon our experience that we've gained through our nuclear power plant and nuclear waste operations over the last 50 years, it includes a great deal of public engagement and stakeholdering.

Robin Manley: 
In Canada, it includes lots of meaningful engagement with our indigenous communities, which is absolutely crucial. Because you need the support and acceptance of the people in the local neighborhood where you work, where you live and where you operate.

Robin Manley: 
And then, the project itself, you need to do all of the necessary in-depth planning upfront, so that you have the engineering complete to the level you understand the manufacturing. You aren't going ahead and starting to construct the plant when you're only, say, 30% engineering design complete. That road leads to failure.

Robin Manley: 
You need to have the engineering complete. You need to have done the planning. Which means you need to have invested the time and the money and the resources up front to plan the project well. That's a challenge to do, because you're taking on a significant commitment to do that work before you make the final decision.

Robin Manley: 
But if you do that, what we have demonstrated with our refurbishing project, what we've demonstrated with our major hydroelectric projects at OPG, is if you do that planning, then you actually do the project right. It comes in on schedule, on budget, and then you can declare success. Because you did what you said you were going to do.

Robin Manley: 
You want to be a trusted operator that's accepted by your community. And doing what you said you were going to do is so fundamental to that. So take the time to do the planning right.

Jason Price: 
Robin Manley, it was a pleasure to have you on our show. And we hope that you and the listeners keep the conversation going in the comment section of the post with this podcast episode. Thank you again for joining us today.

Robin Manley: 
Thank you very much.

Jason Price: 
You can always reach Robin through Energy Central, where he welcomes your questions and comments. We also want to give a shout-out of thanks to the podcast sponsor who made today's episode possible.

Jason Price: 
Thanks to West Monroe. West Monroe works with the nation's largest electric, gas, and water utilities in their telecommunication grid modernization, and digital workforce transformations.

Jason Price: 
West Monroe brings a multidisciplinary team that blends utility, operations, and technology expertise to address modernizing aging infrastructure, advisory on transportation electrification, and hydrogen. ADMs deployments, data and analytics, and cybersecurity.

Jason Price: 
Once again, I'm your host Jason Price. Plug in and stay fully charged in the discussion by hopping into the community at energycentral.com. And we'll see you next time at the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast.

 


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The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ features conversations with thought leaders in the utility sector. At least twice monthly, we connect with an Energy Central Power Industry Network community member to discuss compelling topics that impact professionals who work in the power industry. Some podcasts may be a continuation of thought-provoking posts or discussions started in the community or with an industry leader that is interested in sharing their expertise and doing a deeper dive into hot topics or issues relevant to the industry.

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Discussions
Spell checking: Press the CTRL or COMMAND key then click on the underlined misspelled word.
on Jan 20, 2022

Is not anyone a little frightened that with small nuclear reactors long-lasting hazardous nuclear waste can end up in many places - soils, rivers, oceans - more easily and without anyone able to stop the problem - due to so many people disliking regulation and policing of others?

Robin Manley's picture
Robin Manley on Jan 28, 2022

thank you for your question.  Let me try to tackle in several parts.

First:  Nuclear power plants are in operation in Canada and the US and other places around the world and have been in 50-60 years.  Let me speak of Canada.  We have a tightly regulated nuclear power program with strict controls and limits for nuclear power waste sites.  These sites are licensed, heavily monitored for any emission and releases, inspected by the regulator on an ongoing basis.   We can show the evidence that all emission are FAR below any regulatory limits.  Water, air, ground, people, environment - we monitor all of it.  And those releases have no environmental impacts.  And these requirements will continue to exist for any future SMRs.

Second:  Any future long term disposal site will undergo extremely extensive geological, seismic and environmental testing before we could ever get approval to build a disposal facility.  For example, we studied a permanent low and intermediate level waste disposal site about a decade ago and had extensive public hearings, and funded the costs of the anti-nuclear intervenors to hire scientific opinions to express their perspectives.  This was all done in public in front of an independent expert body "Joint Review Panel" of regulators, for the OPG "DGR".  Their report was published publicly.  It concluded, in essence, that there was no significant environmental impact, and could not be, unless the laws of physics themselves were turned upside down.  The land is THAT geologically stable that no impact could ever happen even over millions of years.

3) and I should add that the waste disposal costs for nuclear in Canada are fully costed and paid up in advance, with regulatory-required financial guarantees so that if a company goes under, the money is there to handle the decommissioning and waste disposal costs.

4) Now please compare that to the waste disposal for solar panels and storage batteries and windmills.  Check the UNECE report on cradle to grave impacts of different energy sources.  Check on the internet for credible sources (eg BBC, CNN) about who makes those solar panels - basically, Uyghur slave labor in China.  And have you checked on the environmental standards in China?  Far worse than you can imagine.  Do you know where the toxic chemical waste from that manufacturing goes?  (direct to lakes and rivers).    Did you know that many toxic chemicals used in batteries in solar panels do not EVER decay?  Let's take lithium.  It's an element.  It never "goes away".  That is, they aren't radioactive with a half-life that they become less dangerous.  No, they are toxic forever.  Did you know that thousands of people are killed around the world every year from the emissions of coal, oil and gas?  Not from the radiation but from the damage the fossil fuel pollutants cause to lungs including cancer.  But did you also know that burning coal releases radiation?  More radiation is released by burning coal than from all the world's nuclear plants.  And the waste from solar panels and batteries to make enough power for North America?  The volumes will be incredible.  Whereas nuclear waste volumes are MINUTE.   For windmills the story is a little different but the HUGE volumes of metallic wastes from windmills will fill countless dump sites all over the land.  Do the math and you'll see.

5) And again to cost:  the waste disposal costs for wind and solar and batteries are currently NOT accounted for in North America.  Not by the energy consumer and not by the company making them and not by the companies earning a profit selling that power.  Who is going to have to pay afterwards?  The taxpayer.  But those costs are not accounted for.

 

So you see, this issue is much more complicated than just saying "nuclear waste is a problem."  The nuclear industry is doing something about it.  Is the renewable industry?

Julian Jackson's picture
Julian Jackson on Jan 25, 2022

Thanks for this enlightening podcast. I found it helpful to hear about this trailblazing next-generation nuclear project.

Robin Manley's picture
Robin Manley on Jan 28, 2022

thank you Julian, glad you enjoyed it!

William Arvance's picture
William Arvance on Jan 31, 2022

Thanks for sharing! Battery storage alone isn’t going to cut it… we need nuclear options.

Robin Manley's picture
Robin Manley on Feb 5, 2022

Agreed!

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Jan 31, 2022

Back in the day, was essentially impossible to have the design work done before construction of a nuclear power plant. We just did not have the tools or time to be “design complete” before construction began.

Fast forward to today, and “design complete” is well within our grasp, assuming the needed upfront money is in place. The necessary contract mechanism points to a more traditional model where the utility provides upfront financial help. That rules out the Engineer-Procure-Construct contract models currently in vogue where nearly all the risk is placed on the contractor.

The other major financial risk to new nuclear plants is licensing the nuclear power plant. The US model is highly prescriptive and highly risky from a financial standpoint because of the expensive unknowns that wash through the entire license, design, and construct elements of the project. The Canadian licensing model is vastly more logical and predictable.

So where am I going with this analysis? I seriously doubt that any advanced small reactor will be built in the US for a very, very long time because it’s simply too financially risky.

Canada is a completely different story in terms of the practical ability to actually build new advanced nuclear power plants. The financial risk should be reasonable.  

In my view, Canada will likely lead the future of Western nuclear energy. The US, not so much.

 

PS. I’ve been in the power industry for over a half century and have worked with just about every type of known power plant. That knowledge and experience includes advanced reactors. From my perspective, the Canadian approach is pretty smart.
Well done, and I wish them the best.

 

 

 

Nathan Wilson's picture
Nathan Wilson on Feb 5, 2022

"...Canada will likely lead the future of Western nuclear energy. The US, not so much."

The US and Germany have powerful fossil fuel industries; they are major stakeholders in our energy system planning, so we can expect to move at a crawl for several more years on decarbonization.  Perhaps with the excellent examples set by the clean grids in Canada and France the American public will start demanding results.

Robin Manley's picture
Robin Manley on Feb 5, 2022

I guess we will soon see which is first to deployment.  One factor the US seems to have the advantage in is with the US DoE Advanced Reactor Deployment Program funding.  This will certainly help expedite the first deployments of Natrium, and X-energy.... and as well the substantial Fed funding for NuScale at UAMPS.  NuScale's success at its US NRC design certification is also a positive step.  So between these, and the GEH BWRX-300 deployment in Canada with OPG, the future for new nuclear in North America is looking very positive!

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