Tag Archives: NB Power

CNA2020

CNA2020 Pre-conference Seminar Focuses on SMR Progress in New Brunswick

logo for NB PowerSmall modular reactors (SMRs) are a clean energy option for Canada’s provinces and northern territories. This year’s pre-conference SMR seminar will showcase SMR developments in New Brunswick as NB Power celebrates its 100th anniversary.

In 2018, New Brunswick Energy Solutions Corporation, a provincial Crown corporation, committed $10 million toward establishing an SMR research cluster in New Brunswick. Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC) Nuclear and Moltex Energy also invested $5 million each to advance research and development of their technologies. The two companies are working with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) to establish curriculum as well as plans for research and development at UNB and the Centre for Nuclear Energy Research. Both vendors are active in the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC) vendor design review process and one partner has successfully completed Phase 1.

Utility Plan for SMR Development and Deployment

Ontario Power Generation Vice-President of Nuclear Regulatory Affairs and Stakeholder Relations and Regulatory Readiness Working Group Co-Chair Robin Manley will kick off the seminar. He will describe the pan-Canadian approach and how the work in New Brunswick fits within this approach. To move to commercial demonstration, ARC and Moltex would need to have each of their technologies successfully complete Phase 2 of the CNSC vendor design review, and their financial and project planning predictions would need to continue to show promise. If these conditions are met, then NB Power envisions commercial demonstrations of both reactor types at the Point Lepreau site with an in-service date of about 2030.

Manley’s presentation will be followed by four panel presentations.

Vision for New Brunswick

Chair: Assistant Deputy Minister Energy and Mines, New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development, Bill Breckinridge

Panelists:

  • NB Power Senior Strategic Officer Paul Thompson
  • ARC Nuclear Canada President and CEO Norman Sawyer
  • Moltex Energy Chief Executive, North American Rory O’Sullivan,

Economic Development and Supply Chain

Chair: Atlantica Centre for Energy President Colleen D’Entremont

Panelists:

  • NB Power Senior Strategic Advisor, SMR Project Planning Wayne Woodworth
  • ARC Nuclear Canada President and CEO Norman Sawyer
  • Moltex Energy Chief Executive, North American Rory O’Sullivan
  • Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries President and CEO Ron Oberth
  • Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, Divisional Vice President Ron Marcolin

Importance of Engagement

Chair: CANDU Owners Group Director, Nuclear Safety and Environmental Affairs Program Rachna Clavero

Panelists:

  • Atlantica Centre for Energy President Colleen D’Entremont
  • NB Power Senior Strategic Advisor, Advanced Reactor Technology Team, Claire Harris
  • NB Power Manager of Community Affairs and Nuclear Regulatory Protocol Kathleen Duguay

R&D and Educational Capacity Building

Chair: NB Power Senior Strategic Advisor, Small Modular Reactors Dean Taylor

Panelists:

  • ARC Nuclear Canada President and CEO Norman Sawyer
  • Moltex Energy Vice-President of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, North American, Kun Chen
  • UNB Chemical Engineering Professor William Cook
  • Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Director of the Energy Program Gina Strati
  • University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering President Jerry Hopwood

With so much to cover, the SMR pre-conference seminar will run from 13:00 to 17:00 on February 26.

Registration

Registration is required for all pre-conference seminars and is not included in regular conference registration. Please see the registration terms and conditions at https://www.cna.ca/register for more information and to register.

CNA2020

Getting to Net-Zero Emissions Using Nuclear: Canada’s low-carbon future

Ever wonder how Canada is going to reach net-zero emissions? Join this panel at CNA2020 as Ontario Power Generation (OPG) Senior Vice-President of Corporate Affairs Heather Ferguson, SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh, Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck, and NB Power CEO Gaëtan Thomas discuss how Canada can reach its low-carbon future with nuclear power.

image of Heather Ferguson
OPG Senior VP of Corporate Affairs Heather Ferguson

With over 20 years of experience in the resource development, energy and electricity sectors, Ferguson was previously the OPG’s VP of New Business Ventures, VP of Environment, and Director of Hydroelectric Business Development Group. She has a Master’s degree in Science from Queen’s University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management.

SaskPower CEO and President Mike Marsh

President and CEO since 2015, Marsh first joined SaskPower in 1991 as an engineering supervisor before joining the corporate and financial services leadership team in 2001. In 2012, he became vice-president of operations and chief operations officer. Marsh holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA.

Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Rencheck

Rencheck joined Bruce Power as president and CEO in 2016. He was the deputy chief operating officer for AREVA Group (international) after being president and CEO of AREVA Inc. in North America. Before joining AREVA, he was senior vice-president and chief nuclear officer at American Electric Power. He is a professional engineer and certified senior reactor operator.

NB Power CEO Gaëtan Thomas

Serving as CEO of NB Power since 2010, Thomas is a loyal and lifelong employee of the utility. He has worked in all aspects of the business, including as vice-president of the nuclear, distribution and customer service divisions. Thomas earned a degree in electrical engineering from the University of New Brunswick.

The CEO panel will be held Thursday, February 27, from 14:00 to 15:00. Find the complete schedule at https://cna.ca/cna2020/program/.

To register for the conference, visit https://cna.ca/cna2020/registration/.

Uncategorized

Moltex Energy pursuing SMR build in New Brunswick

The next generation of nuclear reactors is on its way in Canada.

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are a type of reactor that are smaller than conventional nuclear reactors. They can be built in factories and delivered to power sites and remote locations for installation at a low cost.

In Ontario, both Ontario Power Generation and Bruce Power are working with companies to develop SMRs.

And in New Brunswick, two companies signed agreements with NB Power and the Government of New Brunswick as part of an effort to build a manufacturing hub and potentially a second or even third reactor at Point Lepreau.

One of these companies is Moltex Energy.

At the recent Canadian Nuclear Society conference in Ottawa, Moltex Energy Canada Chief Executive Rory O’Sullivan spoke about the company’s efforts to have a stable salt reactor available before 2030.

“We signed the agreements with NB Power and the New Brunswick government last year,” he said.

There are now 10 full-time engineers at the Moltex office in New Brunswick, with five more expected to start in the fall.

“The main objective from the New Brunswick side is understanding our technology so they can eventually build a demonstration plant,” he said. “The long-term vision is to have New Brunswick as a cluster, to build a plant there and get the local supply chain engaged in the best position to sell components as we sell reactors around the world.”

Moltex’s reactor is an SSR, short for Stable Salt Reactor. It uses molten salt fuel in conventional fuel pins. The technology can reuse spent fuel from CANDU reactors at Point Lepreau. It can store heat as thermal energy in large tanks of molten salt that can be converted to steam to create electricity and be able to operate on demand.

In severe accidents the fuel can tolerate temperatures up to 1,600 degrees before it starts to boil.
“The concept of a meltdown doesn’t really apply,” O’Sullivan said.

Companies like Moltex are among those working in Canada to build the next generation of nuclear reactors that offer more flexibility to work with renewables in clean-energy systems of the future.

“All grids around the world need more flexibility as renewables grow and as grids change and you get more electric vehicle charging spikes,” he said. “We are not just developing a reactor that runs baseload all the time. We are developing a hybrid nuclear storage solution.”

“Nuclear is going to be part of a decarbonized future grid. Our way of getting there is trying to build a nuclear solution that operates as cheaply as possible.”

CNA2019

Innovation in action panel at CNA2019

Left to right: Jeff Lyash, Gaëtan Thomas, Mike Rencheck

On Thursday, February 28, at 2:00 p.m., Jeff Lyash, Mike Rencheck and Gaëtan Thomas will take the stage at CNA2019 to discuss new nuclear, innovation in action.

Not everyone realizes the full range of climate and health solutions offered by nuclear technology. Many of these solutions flow from the operations of nuclear utilities. Refurbishment and Major Component Replacement are sources of highly innovative advances in environmental protection, clean energy generation, and life-saving medical isotopes. New Nuclear is innovative, relevant to society’s needs, capable, job-creating, and impactful.

Jeff Lyash is President and CEO of Ontario Power Generation (OPG)  Jeff was formerly the President of CB&I Power where he was responsible for a full range of engineering, procurement and construction of multi-billion dollar electrical generation projects in both domestic and international markets. He also provided operating plant services for nuclear, coal, gas, oil and renewable generation.

Mike Rencheck is President and CEO of Bruce Power. Over the past 30+ years, Mike has served in a number of roles and most recently was the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for AREVA overseeing its extensive Global capital portfolio of nuclear and renewable projects. Prior to this, he served as President and CEO of AREVA Inc. in North America leading its diverse nuclear services business in Canada and the United States with a workforce of about 5,000 people.

Gaëtan Thomas is President and CEO of New Brunswick Power. He is a committed industry leader and agent of change, driven by his deep connection to customer and employee grassroots.

His vision for NB Power includes a made-in-New Brunswick smart grid supported by customer-centric technology and a workforce aimed at creating a greener, more sustainable province. This plan, now in its fourth year, is helping to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, lowering costs and keeping customer rates low and stable.

For more information about CNA2019 visit https://cna.ca/cna2019/.

Uncategorized

Being Prepared for the Unexpected: The Nuclear Industry is Disaster Ready

In 2011, one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded opened-up the sea floor and sent a wall of water rushing along the Japanese coast knocking out the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Images of the devastation made international headlines and raised concern over the safety and preparedness of nuclear power plants in the event of a disaster.

Recently, the government of Ontario announced that it is updating the province’s nuclear response plan. It will have a very solid and impressive basis on which to build.

Although the risk of a tsunami-induced accident at Canada’s nuclear power sites is close to non-existent, being prepared for the unexpected has been at the core of the nuclear industry’s commitment to safety. In fact, within a year of the Fukushima accident, Canada’s nuclear operators took additional steps, including a full-scale emergency exercise that was hosted by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) at its Darlington operations. The exercise brought together emergency responders from all levels of government and OPG, to test accident readiness.

Safety is a crucial pillar of success, and that is why the industry continues to add new measures to existing emergency response plans. As one example, OPG installed flood barriers to protect low-lying equipment in the event of a severe weather disaster. During the Fukushima event, an explosion took place because of a buildup of hydrogen. So OPG installed passive autocatalytic recombiners to limit the risk of a buildup of hydrogen should a leak ever occur.

Bruce Power, Ontario’s other nuclear generator, has built upon its safety foundation post-Fukushima, making additional investments in a suite of back-up generators and fire trucks. A new Emergency Management Centre, equipped with its own back-up power supply was also set up, and last October Bruce Power hosted 500 people from over two dozen agencies to take part in a week-long emergency preparedness drill called Exercise Huron Resolve.

This week-long exercise involved various industry partners and government including The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, The Ontario Provincial Police, The Ministry of Labour’s Radiation Protection Services and OFMEM’s Provincial Emergency Operations Centre, which is based in Toronto.

Outside of Ontario, in New Brunswick, the Point Lepreau nuclear plant recently conducted  two large-scale emergency response exercises. A two-day simulation, in 2015, was conducted in partnership between NB Power and New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization and this past May the company teamed up with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to run through security emergency response exercises.

It is important to point out that, prior to Fukushima, nuclear emergency response plans were already in place. In fact, the nuclear industry’s commitment to emergency planning has been in place since the operation of nuclear power plants began, over fifty years ago. Since that time, operators have continued to build upon best practices.

While the geography of Canada makes it highly unlikely that an earthquake and ensuing tsunami, like the one that swallowed the Japanese coast, could ever occur here, we know that we must invest and demonstrate our commitment to planning and preparing for the unexpected. Our people are our number one asset, living and working in the communities they serve. Keeping our communities safe isn’t just part of our job it’s part of our community responsibility. One that we take pride in.

Uncategorized

Nuclear Refurbishment: The Best Deal for Ontario

Calculator

By Romeo St-Martin
Communications Officer
Canadian Nuclear Association

One of the biggest criticisms about nuclear power is that renovations are expensive.

But even with a big price tag up front, the refurbishment of nuclear reactors is still cheaper than the alternatives for reliable baseload power (the minimum amount of electric power delivered or required over a given period of time at a steady rate).

In Ontario, refurbishments are planned for both Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation. Bruce Power is estimating it may spend up to $15 billion to refurbish six reactors at its Kincardine station beginning in 2016. And OPG’s Darlington refurbishment is estimated at $10 billion.

Combined, the two plants represent about 10,000 MWs of generation capacity. They produce about half of Ontario’s electricity. They have provided clean, cheap and reliable electricity to Ontarians for almost 25 years. As they come to the end of the first phase of their initial life cycle, the Ontario government concluded that refurbishment is a lot less expensive and cleaner than replacing that power.

“We needed to determine how that power is going to be replaced,” Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said in a recent television interview with Global News.

“We made a determination that refurbishment is the least-cost type of generation. It’s 50 per cent less than the cost of new nuclear and less the cost of replacing those megawatts with gas. So we’re moving ahead because of the cost factor.

“The best cost deal in replacing the existing nuclear is to refurbish what we have.”

Chiarelli went on to explain that he is not expecting either refurbishment to go over budget.

“We built off ramps,” he said. “If OPG cannot deliver on budget and on time then there’s a real likelihood that cabinet will not proceed with the additional refurbishment.

“Building refurbishment is the best cost deal for the province by a large, large margin. The estimates we have now are reliable estimates.”

As for the other options, wind power is intermittent and cannot be relied upon as a base load power source. If you back up wind with natural gas, the price goes up and there is no price certainty over long periods of time for gas, which is currently cheap, but is prone to price changes.

While the price tag for refurbishment can be large, rates are affordable because it can be amortized over a 30 year period.

That was the case in New Brunswick with the refurbishment of the Point Lepreau Generating Station.

Even though refurbishment there went over budget, New Brunswickers will not see their power rates increase as the cost overruns will be paid back over 27 years.

“The costs related to Lepreau have been fully accounted for in our projections, and we intend to recover these costs through equal payments – similar to a home mortgage – made monthly during the 27-year life of the plant,” according to Gaetan Thomas, president of NB Power.

Former New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord, whose government approved the refurbishment project in 2005, told Global News recently that when compared with the alternatives, refurbishment was “actually better than any alternatives.”