The New Brunswick Energy Solutions Corporation has announced the participation of Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC) in the nuclear research cluster that will work on research and development on small modular reactor technology.
“We are pleased to announce the participation of ARC, a company with significant experience and ability to make advancements in this bourgeoning sector,” said David Campbell, chair of the New Brunswick Energy Solutions Corporation. “This has great potential not only to make New Brunswick a leader in emerging energy sectors but to bring growth and opportunities to our economy.”
ARC will commit $5 million to operations and research in New Brunswick and establish an office in Saint John.
“ARC was formed to bring back and commercialize a technically mature, advanced reactor technology that was created and proven by a U.S. prototype reactor that ran successfully in the United States for 30 years,” said Don Wolf, CEO and chairman of ARC. “We are excited by the opportunity that this collaboration represents and applaud the Province of New Brunswick for their strategic decision. We intend to demonstrate that the inherent safety features of our reactor enable a simple and cost-effective design which will be competitive with all other forms of electricity generation, all while protecting our environment and complying with the export control rules of Canada and the United States.”
ARC is developing a metallic fuel, sodium cooled, fast reactor. ARC’s goal is to license, construct, and commission their first operational, grid-connected reactor in Canada and by leveraging the existing infrastructure and expertise at Point Lepreau, New Brunswick’s presence is strengthened in this next generation of nuclear technologies. The company is currently working towards development of a safe, 100-megawatt small modular reactor. The company uses proprietary PRISM technology from GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and works with support from that company’s engineering and design teams. ARC and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy have a development agreement.
“We have done extensive research of which partners would best be suited to work with us in New Brunswick on this important research and development project and ARC Nuclear is an excellent fit for us here in New Brunswick,” said Gaëtan Thomas, president and CEO of NB Power. “The company is a world leader in its field and will be a great asset here in the province, along with our other partners we will announce soon as we broaden our opportunities in the energy sector.”
Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet welcomed the participation of ARC.
“We are well-positioned to seize an opportunity in this sector thanks to the know-how of our people and the tremendous asset we have in Point Lepreau,” said Doucet. “We are pleased to see that we have partners coming to the table who have the ability to make advancements in this sector, as we seek to transition to a lower-carbon economy.”
The provincial government recently announced a commitment of $10 million towards the nuclear research cluster.
Small Nuclear Modular Reactors are the next generation of nuclear technology that can be scaled for designs with an output of between five and 300 megawatts. These reactors are intended to provide clean, cost-efficient and adaptable energy for various business and industry needs. These reactors may be able to use spent fuel from existing Candu reactors.