OPG awards contract for early SMR site prep work

Ontario Power Generation Inc--Early site preparation work begins

The Darlington New Nuclear Project site in Clarington. (Credit: CNW Group/Ontario Power Generation Inc.)

Early preparation activities will soon begin at the site of Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) future Small Modular Reactor.

OPG has awarded a $32 million contract to E.S. Fox Limited for the first phase of site preparation and support infrastructure for the Darlington New Nuclear Project.

Execution of this initial work means approximately 100 Ontario jobs.

Infrastructure work under this contract includes bringing services to site including:

  • Water
  • Electrical power
  • Information technology
  • Roads

In December, OPG announced it would work with GE Hitachi to work toward constructing Canada’s first commercial, grid-scale SMR.

This early site preparation is expected to begin later this year, when OPG receives necessary permits and regulatory approvals. Further regulatory approvals are required, through the CNSC, before any SMR construction work can begin.

Quick facts

  • Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is one of the top-performing nuclear stations in the world and generates about 20 per cent of Ontario’s electricity each day.
  • The Darlington New Nuclear Project is the only site in Canada with an accepted Environmental Assessment and site preparation licence, the first in a series of licences required to build a new nuclear generating facility.
  • OntarioNew BrunswickSaskatchewan and Alberta have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the advancement of SMRs as a clean energy option to address climate change and regional energy demands, while supporting economic growth and innovation.
  • The Darlington SMR will provide a critical new source of clean nuclear generated power for Ontario’s future projected energy needs – a demand widely expected to ramp up as transportation and other sectors electrify, using Ontario’s clean power to help decarbonize the broader economy. International bodies, including the International Energy Agency (IEA), have been clear: climate change initiatives will fall short without nuclear power as part of the electricity supply mix.
  • A single SMR of about 300 megawatts in size can prevent between 0.3 megatonnes (MT) to 2 MT of greenhouse gases emissions per year, depending on where it is located and what kind of power it is displacing.

“This early work sets the stage for deployment of the type of clean, safe new electricity generation Ontario needs as demand begins to rise due to electrification,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG President and CEO. “We look forward to seeing the site begin to take shape, with help from trusted partner E.S. Fox, as OPG paves the way for the next generation of nuclear power in Ontario.”

“The world is watching Ontario when it comes to SMRs,” said Todd Smith, Ontario Minister of Energy. “I look forward to seeing the progress made by E.S. Fox and OPG as we prepare to deploy Canada’s first grid-scale SMR. This project will create good jobs and clean energy while cementing our reputation as a global hub for nuclear technology and SMR expertise.”

“We are proud to partner together with OPG as early work begins for the planned Darlington Small Modular Reactor,” said Spencer Fox, E.S. Fox President. “We are honored to be a part of this project and look forward to breaking ground and laying the foundation for OPG to safely set new standards in the global nuclear power generation industry for the benefit of all Ontarians.”

Source: Company Press Release