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SMNRs: MOU with Bruce Power . . . . .

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:54 am
by Oscar
SMNRs: NuScale Expands Canadian Market Effort Through MOU with Bruce Power

[ ... ruce-power ]

By NuScale, Financial Post, November 27, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. — NuScale Power announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bruce Power L.P., Canada’s first private nuclear generator, to develop a business case to introduce NuScale’s small modular reactor (SMR) technology to the Canadian market. This latest agreement demonstrates the growing enthusiasm in Canada for NuScale’s pioneering nuclear technology.

“Bringing NuScale’s safe, scalable, economic and carbon-free reactor to Canadian customers makes sense both from an energy and business perspective and we are thrilled to have the support of leading power generator Bruce Power as we make this case,” said NuScale Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Hopkins. “Bruce Power’s expertise in managing nuclear plants as a private company adds additional valuable experience as we move into the Canadian market.”

Through the agreement, Bruce Power will support evaluation, planning and licensing activities, all of which will serve an important role in demonstrating the business case for why NuScale’s technology is the right choice for Ontario and Canada. This will include studies on the impacts of deployment of a NuScale plant in the province, feasibility studies for proposed SMR sites, and other risk evaluation exercises to show how SMR deployment can benefit Canadians.

“The NuScale design has advanced to a stage where Bruce Power can participate in understanding and developing a conceptual business case as part of our efforts to provide low-cost, clean, reliable electricity to Canadian families and businesses,” said Bruce Power President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Rencheck. “We look forward to working with NuScale.”

Bruce Power is a privately-owned operator of nuclear power generating stations and provides 30 per cent of the power delivered in the Province of Ontario at 30 per cent below the average cost to produce residential power through its operation of approximately 6,400 MW of nuclear generation capacity.

In May 2018, Bruce Power and the County of Bruce announced a partnership to establish the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) as an international centre of excellence for applied research and training, which will evaluate applications for new nuclear technologies including Small Modular Reactor (SMRs).

The announcement follows an MOU that NuScale signed earlier this month with Ontario Power Generation Inc. to support NuScale in its vendor design review with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

NuScale’s innovative and unique SMR design has unparalleled safety and reliability performance, is factory-made, and offers scalable power based on need – an unprecedented capability in the nuclear energy industry. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is scheduled to complete NuScale’s Design Certification application in September 2020.

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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [cleangreensask] Financial Post: Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation Gamble on Small Nuclear Reactors
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2018 20:06:51 -0500
From: Gordon Edwards <>
To: Gordon Edwards <>


In a desperate effort to revive the moribund nuclear power industry and to attract investment capital, nuclear promoters are concentrating all their efforts on drumming up business for building, testing, licensing, and eventually deploying a new fleet of "small reactors”. There are, reportedly, over 150 different designs on the drawing boards, none of which have been built. Most of the interest in these newly packaged nuclear reactor concepts is self-generated hype emanating from the would-be vendors themselves, as there is a remarkable dearth of paying customers. The promoters are hoping to tap into the treasuries of gullible governments, using people’s hard-earned tax dollars as their own private source of venture capital.

Bruce Power is a private company with a sweetheart deal. It leases eight large nuclear reactors from Ontario Power Generation (OPG), and is guaranteed lucrative profits by selling electricity to the grid at preferred rates. Meanwhile, the publicly-owned company OPG inherits all of the radioactive liabilities created by those privately-operated reactors — the irradiated nuclear fuel, huge volumes of non-fuel radioactive wastes, thousands of tons of contaminated equipment, plus the refurbishing and decommissioning wastes, all of which will remain dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years. Ralph Nader called it lemon socialism: the private operators make all the profits and the public gets all the lemons.

Some years ago, Bruce Power wanted to build new CANDU reactors in Ontario, beside the other eight reactors on Lake Huron, but cancelled the plan right in the middle of an environmental assessment hearings process because the scheme proved to be a completely unviable proposition. The same thing happened when Bruce Power tried to get approval to build a nuclear reactor in the Peace River region of Northern Alberta — the whole deal went up in smoke. It turns out that nobody in Alberta wanted the reactor, and the only ones enthusiastic about it were the Bruce Power people. Nuclear power has long been a technology in search of a need.

Around the same time, Ontario Power Generation wanted to build two to four new nuclear reactors at Darlington, on Lake Ontario, where there are four CANDUs at present. But the Government of Ontario went into a state of shock when the price tag for the new reactors was revealed to be three quarters of the $30 billion stranded debt that bankrupted Ontario Hydro 20 years earlier — a debt that Ontario ratepayers are still paying down today in their monthly electricity bills.

Nor are these aborted initiatives isolated examples. The French nuclear giant Areva virtually bankrupted itself over the Olkiluoto reactor in Finland, and Westinghouse went bust over two new reactors in Georgia. Earlier this year, a Vice President of the large US nuclear firm Exelon declared that he did not believe any new nuclear reactors would ever be built in North America, and that included (in his opinion) the so-called Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMNRs) that are currently being ballyhooed.

But hope springs eternal in the nuclear breast. Just because the vaunted “Nuclear Renaissance” of 20 years ago turned out to be a complete dud, that’s no reason to throw in the radioactive towel. As long as governments and publicly-owned utilities are willing to shovel billions of dollars into the coffers of nuclear proponents, the spirit of opportunism abounds. Since when did poor economics act as a strong enough deterrent to put the brakes on nuclear adventurism?

The NuScale small reactor design is basically a stripped down, miniaturized version of the existing PWRs (Pressurized Water Reactors) that are operating in the USA and overseas. Forget the CANDU, with its heavy water and its “natural uranium” fuel, Bruce Power wants to invest in a reactor for which the low-enriched uranium fuel would have to purchased out of-country (Canada has no uranium enrichment facilities) and for which the economies of scale seem to be working in reverse — smaller reactors being universally more expensive per unit of energy than larger ones.

Amory Lovins once famously said: “Technology is the answer! But -- what was the question?” One wonders whether these gargantuan efforts to revitalize a dying industry are really motivated by energy needs, or by the driving desire to keep the nuclear enterprise afloat?

Gordon Edwards, President
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility