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Small Modular Reactors To Begin Environmental Review

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Notice of commencement of an environmental assessment for a small modular reactor project at the Chalk River Laboratories was announced earlier this month.

Small nuclear reactors are being touted by researchers as a power solution for communities and industrial projects in remote locations.

Global First Power, with assistance from Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation and Ontario Power Generation, wants to build a 5 MW electrical Micro Modular Reactor plant at Chalk River Laboratories campus. While commencement is not project approval, Global First Power said the announcement is an important milestone.

In its proposal to regulators, Global First Power is proposing the site preparation, construction, operation, and decommissioning of a single small modular reactor, using Micro Modular Reactor technology. The Micro Modular Reactor would contain "...a high temperature gas-cooled reactor that would provide process heat to an adjacent plant, via molten salt. The MMR would produce approximately 15 Megawatt (thermal) of process heat to generate electrical power and/or heat, over an operating life-span of 20 years."

In a CBC Radio interview in late June, Dr. Francois Caron discussed his research into small nuclear reactors. Caron is Bruce Power Chair in Energy Systems at the Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation or MIRARCO at Laurentian Unversity.

Caron said nuclear reactors have the highest energy density compared to other power sources. A typical mine could be powered by a device the same size as a refrigerator.

"The advantage is that they are portable. You could put [one] on the back of a truck, put [one] on a train," said Caron.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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