North America’s First Small Modular Reactor to Be Built in Canada

Johnny Wentzel
SMR building

In a nearly Avengers-level assemblage, three Canadian companies have come together with plans to develop North America’s first small modular reactor (SMR).

What Happened: Ontario Power Generation (OPG), Aecon, and SNC-Lavalin announced an agreement with the US-based GE Hitachi to construct the SMR at OPG’s Darlington New Nuclear Project site.

  • SMR’s are compact nuclear reactors which can be built in a factory, shipped, and installed at a desired location, rather than following the laborious construction-in-place model of traditional large-scale reactors.

Canucks on the leading edge

With nearly 60 percent of Ontario’s electricity coming from nuclear sources—the highest of any province or state in North America—it’s no surprise that the province has taken a leading role in the future of nuclear power.

Why Canada? The country is a prime candidate for the implementation of SMRs. With widespread communities across a cold climate, SMRs may be a critical tool in decarbonizing remote communities that otherwise rely on burning fossil fuels for electricity.

Zoom out: Nuclear energy can be as divisive as pineapple on pizza (a Canadian invention, btw), but as the world moves away from fossil fuels on the path to net-zero emissions, SMRs may be a top option for remote communities to generate power in the future.