Skip to Content

Small modular reactors

Like mobile phones and home computers, many things get smaller and more technologically advanced over time.

Ontario’s nuclear energy potential is no exception, and Ontario Power Generation is helping lead the way in the advancement of small modular reactor (SMR) technology – the future of nuclear power generation.

Learn how these small, carbon-free, modular reactors can help meet Ontario’s changing energy needs while combating climate change.

Related news
News update

Darlington New Nuclear Project Update - January 2022

Get the latest project news in this January 2022 update from Robin Manley, OPG's Vice President, New Nuclear Development.

Read more
Media release

OPG advances clean energy generation project

OPG is announcing it will work together with GE Hitachi to deploy a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) at the Darlington new nuclear site.

Read more
Results 1-2 of 14

Download Report

Three letters that can help solve climate change

Ontario’s nuclear know-how is helping lead the way for this real solution to climate change.

Share this video:

The next generation of nuclear

SMRs, like current nuclear reactors, are designed to provide reliable, carbon-free electricity, but with a much smaller land footprint than current reactors.

Factory constructed and modular, many SMRs are designed to be delivered to site, and can be used for generating electricity as well as producing heat used for other applications like district heating for commercial or residential needs, hybrid energy systems, water desalination, or heavy industry applications.

From 1 megawatt to 300 megawatts, SMRs are a reliable alternate energy source to diesel in rural communities, and a significant growth opportunity for OPG and Ontario.

Small modular reactor facts

Small Footprint

SMRs require far less space than traditional reactors

Fission Reaction

Heat and power are efficiently generated through fission

Prebuilt Off-site

SMRs are factory constructed and delivered to site

150 Solutions

Over 150 SMR technologies proposed, worldwide

SMRs are good for Canada

A 2018 collaborative study found SMRs could be a beneficial addition to Canada’s energy mix and urged the Canadian government to support the advancement of SMRs. The Canadian roadmap study for SMR deployment report found that Canada is uniquely positioned to lead the world in SMR development given its long history in nuclear power.

OPG is leading the advancement of SMRs in Canada

OPG has been at the forefront of the Canadian nuclear industry’s collective efforts to consider the option of SMR technologies as part of our future energy mix, including taking a key role in the development of the Canadian roadmap study for SMR deployment.

And, with a history of more than a half-century of safe nuclear operations, proven operations and project management success, OPG is now leading the development and deployment of the first wave of SMRs in Canada to ensure the next generation of emissions-free, safe and sustainable nuclear energy will benefit Canadians.

  • OPG is a partner on Canada’s first SMR project: Global First Power’s Micro Modular Reactor ProjectTM at Chalk River.

OPG has partnered with SMR technology developer Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) on a joint venture called Global First Power (GFP), which is proposing to build a USNC-designed Micro Modular ReactorTM at the Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario. The project will demonstrate the commercial viability of this technology as an alternative to diesel generation of electricity in parts of Canada that are not served by provincial electricity transmission grids. OPG also co-authored an SMR Economic Feasibility and Cost-Benefit Study for Remote Mining in the Canadian North with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and Mirarco Mining Innovation.

The Chalk River project is currently undergoing an Environmental Assessment and has submitted an application to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for the first in a series of required licences required to construct and operate a reactor.

  • OPG is paving the way for SMR development with developers GE-Hitachi, Terrestrial Energy and X-energy to consider options for future on-grid projects in Ontario and Canada.

Consistent with a pan-Canadian approach to the development and deployment of next generation clean technology, OPG is advancing engineering and design work with three grid-scale SMR developers to consider options for Ontario and Canada: GE Hitachi, Terrestrial Energy and X-energy.

  • OPG’s Darlington Nuclear site is the only site in Canada licensed to host new nuclear with a completed environmental assessment.

The Darlington site is poised to play an important role in the future of new nuclear generation in Canada. OPG holds a Site Preparation Licence for the Darlington New Nuclear Project – the first in a series of licences required for new nuclear. The licence was granted following the acceptance of an environmental assessment, which included an extensive hearing process conducted by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the CNSC with 17 days of public hearings.

OPG envisions additional new nuclear generation at the Darlington site in the future, using advanced nuclear technologies with enhanced safety and environmental features. OPG has applied to the CNSC to renew the licence and maintain this low-carbon energy option for Ontario.

Small but mighty

Learn about the technology that's the next evolution in nuclear energy.

Share this video: