Canadian Consulting Engineer

OPG awards contract for early SMR site prep work

March 14, 2022

The site aims to deliver Canada’s first commercial, grid-scale SMR.

OPG Darlington site

Photo courtesy OPG.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has awarded a $32-million contract to E.S. Fox for the first phase of site preparation and support infrastructure for the ‘Darlington New Nuclear Project,’ which will develop a small modular reactor (SMR) in Clarington, Ont.

The infrastructure work under this contract will include bringing water, electrical power, roads and information technology (IT) services to the site (pictured). Site preparation is expected to begin later this year, after OPG receives more permits and regulatory approvals. (An environmental assessment and site preparation licence have already been accepted.)

Further approvals will also be required, through the Canada Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), before OPG’s previously announced work with GE Hitachi to construct Canada’s first commercial, grid-scale SMR can begin. Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Alberta have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on advancing SMRs for cleaner energy generation.

“This early work sets the stage for deployment of clean, safe generation as demand begins to rise due to electrification,” says OPG president and CEO Ken Hartwick. “We look forward to seeing the site begin to take shape.”


It is estimated a 300-MW SMR could prevent between 0.3 to 2 megatonnes (MT) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year, depending where it is located and what kind of power it displaces. Darlington Nuclear Generating Station already provides about 20% of Ontario’s electricity.


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