Canada is moving swiftly on commitments to carbon zero goals by investing in new nuclear power capacity in Ontario.
Canadian governments are undertaking a coal phase-out strategy, with nuclear seen as a major carbon-free replacement for base load power.
Other provinces are also planning increase to nuclear capacity, including Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Alberta
New SMRs and a major new nuclear plant are all being constructed in the Ontario region, likely to be online by the early 2030s.
Local media reported this week Ontario’s Energy Minister Todd Smith announced that Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and its partners will build three new Small Modular Reactors (SMR) on-site at the existing Darlington Nuclear Generating Station.
Ontario will also build a major new plant at Bruce Nuclear on the shores of Lake Huron – already the world’s second-largest nuclear station – that will be the first new, large-scale nuclear plant in the province in more than 30 years, local media reported.
The new capacity will power some 5 million homes and businesses in the region, CBC reported.
“I don’t think anyone would have seen this coming, certainly two or three years ago,” said Dr. Chris Keefer, a Toronto emergency physician and the president of Canadians for Nuclear Energy, a group that has long urged governments to build new CANDU reactors.
“Any investment in this technology leads to not only clean air, not only medical isotopes, not only climate action, but also really good things for Ontario working people.”
The SMRs will be BWRX-300 reactors, built by GE and its partners.
The Polish Ambassador to Canada was also at the announcement in Canada, heralding the news and suggesting Poland would also follow with announcements on SMRs soon.
GE says the U.S., Poland, Estonia, Sweden, the UK and the Czech Republic have all explored deploying and investing in the BWRX-300 reactors.