Advanced Reactor Concepts to collaborate in Canadian SMR cluster

Advanced Reactor Concepts has joined a Canadian nuclear research cluster that will work on the research and development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology.

The US company is developing ARC-100, a 100MWe SMR that it claims will operate for 20 years without the need to refuel.

“ARC was formed to bring back and commercialise a technically mature, advanced reactor technology that was created and proven by a US 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 [Canadian] 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.”

ARC is developing a metallic fuel, sodium-cooled, fast reactor and aims to license, construct, and commission its first operational, grid-connected reactor in Canada.

In 2017, ARC signed an agreement with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to collaborate on development and licensing, and uses proprietary technology from GEH’s PRISM reactor. GEH’s PRISM reactor and ARCs design are based on the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II) integral sodium-cooled fast reactor prototype which operated at Argonne National Laboratory for over 30 years.

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“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, which is a joint venture partner in New Brunswick Energy Solutions Corporation with the provincial government of New Brunswick. “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.”

The provincial government recently announced a commitment of CAN$10m towards the nuclear research cluster, which is home to the NB Power-operated Point Lepreau nuclear power plant.

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