Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and its commercial subsidiary, Laurentis Energy Partners (LEP), are collaborating with SaskPower to advance Saskatchewan’s first small modular reactor (SMR).

The provincial utilities announced a master services agreement at a press conference Nov. 20.

The five-year agreement, which builds on existing collaboration between the utilities, would help streamline SMR development in Saskatchewan. Under the agreement, LEP would focus on program management, licensing and operational readiness activities.

OPG aims to build North America’s first SMR at its Darlington New Nuclear site. OPG expects the first of four SMRs would be completed there by the end of 2028 and online by 2030.

“We’re a couple of years into our process with our technology, as well as ultimately building out an operational capability,” said OPG President and CEO Ken Hartwick. “And the goal of OPG and Laurentis is to build out all this capability [in Saskatchewan].”

OPG, SaskPower and Laurentis would also leverage the research and expertise of post-secondary institutions in both provinces. As part of the agreement, the companies would coordinate and enable industry suppliers in Ontario and Saskatchewan to support a Canadian fleet of SMRs.

Earlier in 2023, SaskPower and OPG renewed an agreement to continue working together on new nuclear development, including SMRs. The utilities would provide mutual support by sharing lessons learned, technical resources and expertise, best practices and operating experience. SaskPower and OPG would consider future collaboration in other areas, including project development and plant operations.

OPG and SaskPower have both selected the GE Hitachi BWRX-300 SMR for potential deployment.

The first of four SMRs will be completed by the end of 2028, and online by the end of 2029.

SaskPower has started looking at potential sites for the province’s first SMR. Deployment would be expected in the mid-2030’s. Saskatchewan plans to decide whether to proceed with the project in 2029.

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