Clean Technology Canada

CIB announces $970M for Canada’s first small modular reactor

October 25, 2022 | By Canadian Manufacturing

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TORONTO — The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has finalized an agreement with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and committed $970 million towards Canada’s first small modular reactor (SMR).

This is CIB’s largest investment in clean power to date.

OPG is developing and constructing the 300-megawatt SMR next to OPG’s existing 3,500-megawatt Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Clarington, Ontario.

SMRs are a new class of nuclear reactors which are approximately 300 megawatts or less, have a smaller footprint and a shorter construction schedule, compared to traditional nuclear generating stations. SMRs can provide zero-carbon baseload power across all regions and are crucial to decarbonizing the electricity sector and broader economy.

The CIB-financed Phase 1 work covers all preparation required prior to nuclear construction, including project design, site preparation, procurement of long lead-time equipment, utility connections, implementation of a digital strategy, and related project management costs.

The Darlington SMR will be one of the first ever developed and is hoping to spearhead similar projects in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Alberta, with interest also growing in the U.S. and Europe.

The project will also support Canadian efforts to become a global SMR technology hub in a market estimated to be $150 billion per year by 2040.

Once fully constructed by the end of this decade, the SMR will avoid approximately 740,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

“Energy experts say there is no path to bringing the world’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050 without nuclear. The CIB’s $970 million investment hopes to help OPG construct Canada’s first small modular reactor. As our largest clean power investment, we are supporting technology which can accelerate the reduction in greenhouse gases while also paving the way for Canada becoming a global SMR technology hub,” said Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank.

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