SaskPower selects SMR that could be used to generate nuclear power in 2030s

SaskPower's head office in Regina is seen in this file photo.

SaskPower will use the GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR) for the potential deployment of nuclear power in the 2030s the Crown said in a release on Monday.

SaskPower said its focus before making a decision was on several key factors, including safety, technology readiness, generation size, fuel type and expected cost of electricity.

A decision whether or not to build a small modular nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan will not be made until 2029, SaskPower said.

However it adder that “several years of complex project development” along with licensing and regulatory work is required to maintain nuclear power from SMRs as an option for the coming decade.

SaskPower is also currently conducting a detailed technical evaluation of where a potential SMR could be located in the province in the future.

Suitable regions are expected to be found sometime in 2022.

SaskPower has been exploring SMR technology that could be used for a pan-Canadian, fleet based deployment of nuclear power since 2019.

“A fleet-based approach offers many advantages for Saskatchewan, including lower regulatory, construction and operating costs while also eliminating first-of-a-kind risk,” SaskPower said in a release.

“This is an important milestone as Saskatchewan works towards a cleaner, more sustainable future,” Don Morgan, the minister responsible for SaskPower said in a release. “[Monday’s] announcement further acts on the Saskatchewan Growth Plan goal of advancing potential development of zero-emission small modular reactor technology.”

More can be learned about SMR technology by visiting saskpower.com/nuclear.