Canadian Consulting Engineer

SNC-Lavalin to develop Canada’s first grid-scale SMR for OPG

January 30, 2023

"We will ensure Canada leads the way to advance an exciting new frontier in nuclear energy." - Joe St. Julian

Darlington New Nuclear Project Site

OPG plans to build Canada’s first SMR at this site in Clarington, Ont. Photo courtesy OPG.

Candu Energy, part of SNC-Lavalin Group, has entered an agreement with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to deliver the Darlington New Nuclear Project, including the deployment of North America’s first commissioned grid-scale small modular reactor (SMR), the GEH BWRX-300, before the end of the decade.

As part of a six-year alliance agreement with Aecon and GE-Hitachi, Candu Energy will provide expertise for engineering and building the SMR for Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Clarington, Ont. (pictured), which currently uses four Canada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) reactors to generate electric power. SNC-Lavalin’s mandate is expected to include project management, licensing, design, procurement, construction support, commissioning and digital delivery for both the ‘nuclear island’ and ‘balance of plant’ scopes of the project.

“Canada’s 2050 net-zero commitments will require large-scale electrification of transportation, buildings and heavy industrial processes,” says Ian L. Edwards, president and CEO of SNC-Lavalin. “That electricity needs to be generated from clean, reliable and cost-efficient sources that will not weaken energy security. Our involvement in what will be Canada’s first SMR to come to market—and its first nuclear new build in roughly 30 years—reaffirms our position in the nuclear energy market.”

As the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of CANDU reactors, SNC-Lavalin is the only company to have technology pass all three phases of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s (CNSC’s) pre-project design review.


“Following our on-time, on-budget success working with OPG on the refurbishment of Darlington’s existing CANDU reactors, we are very pleased to contribute to this exciting new build,” says Joe St. Julian, president of SNC-Lavalin’s nuclear business. “Canada was the second country in the world to generate commercial nuclear power. Together with our alliance partners, we will ensure Canada leads the way to advance an exciting new frontier in nuclear energy. We continue to work with SMR vendors around the world to bring more of these reactors online, coinciding with a rise in interest from jurisdictions looking to decarbonize their energy mix, while maintaining their energy self-sufficiency.”

“Canada’s ability to lead in global SMR deployment is enabled by our strong nuclear supply chain,” says Ken Hartwick, OPG’s president and CEO. “We are pleased to welcome SNC-Lavalin to the team that is deploying the BWRX-300 as the first SMR to be commissioned in North America.”


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