Cameco (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ), GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas have entered into a memorandum of understanding to explore several areas of cooperation to advance the commercialization and deployment of BWRX-300 small modular reactors (SMRs) in Canada and around the world.
“Nuclear power will play a massive role in the global shift to zero-carbon energy, generating a lot of momentum for emerging SMR and advanced reactor technologies,” said Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel. “Cameco intends to be a go-to fuel supplier for these innovative reactors. We’re looking forward to working with GEH and GNF to see what opportunities might exist around their novel SMR design.”
The BWRX-300 is a 300 MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems that leverages the design and licensing basis of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s U.S. NRC-certified ESBWR. Through dramatic and innovative design simplification, the company projects the BWRX-300 will require significantly less capital cost per megawatt when compared to other SMR designs.
By leveraging the existing ESBWR design certification, utilizing the licensed and proven GNF2 fuel design, and incorporating proven components and supply chain expertise, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy believes the BWRX-300 can become the lowest-risk, most cost-competitive and quickest to market SMR.
An independent report by PwC Canada, commissioned by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, estimates that the construction and operation of the first BWRX-300 in Ontario is expected to generate approximately C$2.3 billion in gross domestic product (GDP), C$1.9 billion in labour income and more than C$750 million in federal, provincial and municipal tax revenue over its lifespan. The report estimates that each subsequent BWRX-300 deployed in Ontario and other provinces is expected to further generate more than C$1.1 billion in GDP and more than C$300 million in tax revenue.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)