​Canadian Nuclear Laboratories launches process to host country’s first small modular reactor

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' facility at Chalk River, Ontario. Image: CNL

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories has issued an invitation around the world for small modular reactor project proponents to apply for siting at one of the company’s facilities.

It’s one of the most important steps towards successful deployment of a small modular reactor in Canada, CEO Mark Lesinski said in a statement.

CNL has identified small modular reactors as a strategic priority, with with the goal of siting one by 2026. The invitation follows a request for expressions of interest released late last year, which yielded responses from 80 organizations around the world, the company said.

“In addition to electricity generation, small modular reactors could be part of a broader energy system that could include applications such as district heating, co-generation, energy storage, desalination, or hydrogen production. Taken together, all of these advantages make small modular reactor deployment in Canada very appealing, offering a number of positive economic benefits to communities, alignment with national commitments to fight climate change, important applications for remote communities, and the potential to enhance nuclear safety through next-generation nuclear technology,” CNL said.

Applicants will need to proceed through four individual stages; following pre-qualification stage and due diligence, a third phase would culminate in the signing of a site disposition agreement with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, owner of the CNL-managed sites. Finally, the project execution stage would include licensing and construction, testing and commissioning, and operation and decommissioning of the small modular reactor unit.

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