SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Advanced Reactor Concepts LLC and ARC Nuclear Canada Inc. (collectively ARC Nuclear), and New Brunswick Power (NB Power) and its affiliates have agreed to work together to explore the development, licensing and construction of an advanced small modular reactor (SMR) based on ARC Nuclear’s mature Generation IV sodium-cooled fast reactor technology.
ARC has agreed to collaborate with NB Power in exploring the potential future deployment of the ARC-100 at NB Power’s Point Lepreau nuclear plant site and thereafter at other sites in Canada and worldwide. The ARC-100 is a 100 MWe sodium cooled, fast flux, pool type reactor with metallic fuel that builds upon the 30 year successful operation of the EBR-II reactor in Idaho. The larger objective is the establishment of Canada’s New Brunswick Province as a center of excellence and the manufacturing hub for advanced SMR products based on the ARC-100 technology. The project will result in a nuclear supply chain created in the Province with well-paying jobs and substantial new economic opportunity.
“We are pleased to announce the participation of ARC, a company with significant experience and ability to make advancements in this bourgeoning sector,” said David Campbell, chair of the New Brunswick Energy Solutions Corporation. “This has great potential not only to make New Brunswick a leader in emerging energy sectors but to bring growth and opportunities to our economy.”
“We have done extensive research of which partners would best be suited to work with us in New Brunswick on this important research and development project and ARC Nuclear is an excellent fit for us here in New Brunswick,” said Gaëtan Thomas, president and CEO of NB Power. “The company is a world leader in its field and will be a great asset here in the province, along with our other partners we will announce soon as we broaden our opportunities in the energy sector.”
Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet welcomed the participation of ARC. “We are well-positioned to seize an opportunity in this sector thanks to the know-how of our people and the tremendous asset we have in Point Lepreau,” said Doucet. “We are pleased to see that we have partners coming to the table who have the ability to make advancements in this sector, as we seek to transition to a lower-carbon economy.”
ARC will be supported by its partner, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), in line with their previous announcement of collaboration and their stated commitment to this announcement. GEH has broad engineering experience, deep technical capability and significant investment in its sodium fast reactor technology program that builds on a 60-year history as an original equipment manufacturer of boiling water reactors worldwide, while the ARC Nuclear team brings decades of sodium fast reactor experience to this effort. By working together, ARC and GEH have been working to accelerate commercialization of this technology. In addition, GE has deep experience in supporting the development of energy supply chains worldwide, and GE Canada has a strong presence with over 6,500 employees and over 125 years of operations and Canada.
“We have been collaborating with ARC for more than a year and are bringing intellectual property, engineering tools and experts, rigorous quality programs, and management systems and processes, all of which are necessary for nuclear development,” said Jon Ball, Executive Vice President, Nuclear Plant Projects, GEH. “Advanced technology like the ARC-100 will help ensure that nuclear power contributes in the future to clean energy production.”
“ARC was formed to bring back and commercialize a technically mature, advanced reactor technology that was created and proven by a U.S. prototype reactor that ran successfully in the United States for 30 years,” said Don Wolf, CEO and chairman of ARC. “We are excited by the opportunity that this collaboration represents and applaud the Province of New Brunswick for their strategic decision. We intend to demonstrate that the inherent safety features of our reactor enable a simple and cost-effective design which will be competitive with all other forms of electricity generation, all while protecting our environment and complying with the export control rules of Canada and the United States.”
While there are more than 90 advanced nuclear technology and small modular reactor designs under various stages of development, ARC Nuclear and NB Power view sodium fast reactors as one of the most mature advanced reactor technology with decades of real operating experience from more than 20 previous reactors.
About ARC Nuclear
Founded in 2006, Advanced Reactor Concepts, LLC. and its Canadian subsidiary ARC Nuclear Canada Inc. are privately held companies formed with many of the nuclear energy pioneers who played key roles in the EBR-II program. This US Government program operated the EBR-II sodium fast reactor supplying electricity into the grid for 30 years at Idaho Falls, Idaho. The EBR-II experience base serves as the prototype for the ARC-100 nuclear power plant. These ARC engineers are today regarded as leading authorities in small fast reactor technology. ARC’s mission is to commercialize its 100 MWe nuclear power plant and produce safe, economically competitive, carbon-free energy for the global energy market, with a design that can also offer a viable solution to the problem of nuclear waste.