A Canadian utility is starting early work to expand a nuclear plant, potentially building the world’s biggest facility as growing demand for clean energy spurs interest in atomic energy.
The Ontario government said Wednesday Bruce Power will conduct an environmental assessment of adding as much as 4.8 gigawatts of capacity to its plant in Canada’s most-populous province. The plant’s eight reactors currently have about 6.2 gigawatts of capacity and supply 30% of the province’s power.
The expansion would make the site larger than Japan’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, the biggest in the world with seven reactors and more than 8 gigawatts of capacity.
The announcement comes amid growing recognition that carbon-free nuclear power is likely to play an important role in the global battle against climate change. Canada is developing plans to mandate a net-zero power grid by 2035, and the Bruce project would be the first conventional nuclear plant in the province in three decades. Another utility in the region, Ontario Power Generation Inc., is involved in an effort to develop a new type of advanced reactor.
“New nuclear generation is going to be critical to building the clean grid of the future,” said Todd Smith, Ontario’s energy minister.
(By Will Wade)