Canadian Consulting Engineer

Portland invests in USNC’s SMRs

December 20, 2022


Graphic courtesy USNC.

Portland Holdings Investco, based in Burlington, Ont., has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to advance Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation’s (USNC’s) micro-modular reactor (MMR) energy systems.

USNC has been developing the MMR and fully ceramic micro-encapsulated (FCM) fuel since 2011. Last year, it became the first small modular reactor (SMR) developer to enter the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC’s) formal licensing review phase, as part of a joint venture (JV) with Ontario Power Generation (OPG)—dubbed Global First Power (GFP)—and a project in Chalk River, Ont. The company’s mission is to bring MMRs to off-grid communities and enterprises that lack reliable access to power.

Now, under the terms of the new strategic partnership, Portland, its affiliates and related entities will invest up to US$350 million in USNC to build on current momentum for nuclear energy in Canada and expand MMR technology to the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa.

“USNC’s MMR units are intrinsically safe, more compact and more economical than traditional nuclear power units,” says Michael Lee-Chin, Portland’s president and chair. “We believe the units will be critical to enable industries, governments and remote communities in dire need of access to cleaner energy.”

The agreement comes off the heels of USNC’s past partnerships, including one with Hamilton’s McMaster University.


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