Alberta’s Capital Power partners with Ontario Power Generation to build province’s first nuclear power reactor – by Emma Graney and Matthew McClearn (Globe and Mail – January 16, 2024)

An Alberta power producer aims to build the province’s first nuclear power reactor by 2035. Capital Power Corp., which currently generates electricity using a diversified portfolio featuring natural gas, wind and solar, announced Monday a new partnership with Ontario Power Generation (OPG), operator of a large reactor fleet.

Over the next two years, the companies will jointly assess the viability of building small modular reactors in the Western province. If actually constructed, those SMRs might be jointly owned and operated, OPG says. The announcement is the latest indication that Alberta’s dalliance with nuclear power is gaining momentum. Talk of using reactors to generate steam for industrial processes goes back many years, but none were built.

But the government of Premier Danielle Smith has consistently expressed interest in SMRs, and the province has collaborated with Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick on a plan to deploy them nationally.

Avik Dey, the chief executive officer and president of Capital Power, said in an interview that if his company is to meet its goal of reducing its greenhouse-gas footprint, it needs to decarbonize its natural-gas fleet by capturing carbon while also seriously considering nuclear. And it can’t wait for 10 years of SMR-specific operating history.

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