Update on the Micro Modular Reactor project
Global First Power (GFP) is proposing the site preparation, construction, operation and decommissioning of a single small modular reactor (SMR), using Micro Modular Reactor (MMR) technology. The proposed project would be located at the Chalk River Laboratories site in Renfrew County, Ontario, approximately 200 km northwest of Ottawa, within the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg peoples. The proposed project includes a nuclear plant, which would contain an MMR high-temperature gas-cooled reactor that would provide process heat to an adjacent plant via molten salt. The MMR would produce approximately 15 megawatts (thermal) of process heat to generate electrical power and/or heat, over an operating lifespan of up to 20 years.
GFP’s proposal is undergoing both an environmental assessment (EA) and licensing assessment, which were launched in July 2019. GFP’s proposal is subject to rigorous regulatory scrutiny, and it must meet all requirements.
Where we are now
There are no new updates on the CNSC’s licensing technical assessment of GFP’s proposal. The licensing technical assessments are ongoing, and GFP continues to develop and revise documents supporting its licensing application to address CNSC staff’s comments.
In relation to the EA, CNSC staff are expecting GFP’s submission of the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) and supporting technical documentation sometime in summer 2023. Once submitted, CNSC staff will conduct a 30-day conformity review to ensure that sufficient information has been submitted in accordance with the CNSC’s Generic Guidelines for the Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. If the EIS submission is deemed to contain the required information for the purposes of the EA, a detailed federal-provincial-Indigenous technical review will begin, along with a 90-day public comment period. The launch of the public comment period and technical review will be announced on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry web page for the proposed MMR project (reference number 80182). The public comment period will allow Indigenous Nations and communities, members of the public and stakeholders to review and provide comments on the draft EIS submission for the proposed MMR project. All comments received during the official public comment period will be provided to the appropriate party (GFP, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, and/or CNSC staff) for review and disposition.
CNSC staff have hosted numerous webinars on the MMR project and related topics. To view past CNSC webinars on regulating SMRs and the MMR project, please visit the CNSC’s YouTube channel. In addition, CNSC staff are planning to attend various community and outreach events in the coming months, including the Petawawa Showcase , planned for April 28–30, to engage on the MMR project and the CNSC in general. If you know of a community event or meeting and would be interested in having CNSC staff attend to present on the EA and licensing process for the proposed MMR project and on the role of the nuclear regulator in Canada, please send an email to MMR-MRM@cnsc-ccsn.gc.ca.
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