Update on Global First Power's Micro Modular Reactor Project
As Canada’s nuclear regulator, we review applications for new nuclear technology projects, including Micro Modular Reactor project proposed by Global First Power (GFP). GFP has outlined its vision for the site, construction, operation and eventual decommissioning of a single small modular reactor on the Chalk River Laboratories site in Renfrew County, Ontario. The project proposes a nuclear plant containing a high-temperature gas-cooled micro modular reactor that would heat an adjacent plant, using molten salt. This reactor would produce about 15 megawatts over an expected lifespan of 20 years.
Before GFP can move ahead with its plans, we must oversee an environmental assessment (EA) and grant a licence to prepare the site, if the Commission finds that it meets our expectations with respect to health, safety, security and protecting the environment.
This project was brought to the CNSC in 2019, when GFP submitted a project description that was published for public review. The following year, the Commission met to review the scope of the EA and published its record of decision, which outlined that only factors in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 would be considered in the EA. CNSC staff have continued their detailed assessment of GFP’s application for a licence to prepare the site.
We are now waiting for a draft environmental impact statement (EIS), which GFP anticipates will be ready for review in spring 2022. When we receive the document, we will verify that it includes all necessary information. Once the document is complete, we have 90 days to perform a technical assessment. The CNSC leads the EIS technical assessment, but works closely with other federal and provincial partners and participating Indigenous communities. In parallel, we will publish the draft EIS on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry for public review. We plan to announce funding this fall to assist Indigenous groups and interested members of the public in the review and submission of comments on GFP’s draft EIS.
If you want to learn more about our regulatory role, join us for one of our upcoming webinars. Our experts will be available to answer your questions about our approach to regulating small modular reactors (SMRs). We will also present a special webinar on the steps involved in the environmental assessment and licensing process for this project.
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