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NB Power signs small modular reactors agreement with South Korea nuclear operator


While Indigenous leaders from New Brunswick are raising concerns about nuclear waste in Ottawa, NB Power’s CEO is signing on to a trilateral agreement including one of the world’s largest nuclear operators.

The agreement between NB Power, Saint John-based ARC Clean Technology, and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power has the goal of “establishing teaming agreements for global SMR fleet deployment,” according to a statement from all three companies on Wednesday.

None of the three CEOs, including Lori Clark from NB Power and Bill Labbe from ARC, were made available for an interview on Wednesday. The agreement was signed at the Reuters SMR and Advanced Reactor 2024 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

NB Power is planning to add an ARC-100 small modular reactor at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station by 2030, and made an application for site preparation last year. The New Brunswick government has a goal, as stated in its 12-year-energy plan, to add 600 megawatts of SMR energy production to the provincial grid by 2035.

NB Power and ARC Canada have touted small modular reactors as carbon-free energy powered by spent nuclear waste, announcing other SMR agreements with Saskatchewan and seven New Brunswick First Nations.

On Tuesday, Green Party leader Elizabeth May countered claims about small modular reactors being a climate change solution, in a Parliament Hill news conference alongside Chief Hugh Akagi of the Peskotomuhkati Nation and Grand Council Chief Ron Tremblay of the Wolastoqey Nation.

“(Small modular reactors) don’t decrease nuclear waste, they increase nuclear waste,” said May. “They increase high level nuclear containments that must remain isolated from the biosphere for hundreds of thousands of years.”

Grand Chief Tremblay criticized a federal plan to eventually transport nuclear waste from Point Lepreau (and other Canadian nuclear generating plants) to a site in Ontario, calling it “very dangerous.”

“From Point Lepreau, to where the proposed dumping site is, it’s over 2,000 kilometres,” said Tremblay. “That’s a long haul.”

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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