Canadian partnership to develop transportable nuclear power plants

21 March 2024

Canada’s Prodigy Clean Energy and Des Nëdhé Indigenous Economic Reconciliation Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop opportunities to power remote mines and communities in Canada utilising Prodigy microreactor Transportable Nuclear Power Plants (TNPPs).

The Prodigy Microreactor Power Station TNPP, which can integrate different types of microreactors, would be manufactured, outfitted, and partially commissioned in a shipyard, then transported to site for installation either on land or in a marine (shoreside) setting. Prodigy says the facility would require minimal site preparation compared with a site-constructed small modular reactor (SMR). The TNPP would arrive at site more ready for final commissioning meaning power generation could start within weeks. At the end of project life, the TNPP would be removed for decommissioning, eliminating legacy waste.

Prodigy and Des Nëdhé will explore potential TNPP projects, and engage with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis across Canada, identifying ways in which Indigenous Peoples could have ownership in TNPP new builds, and how an Indigenous workforce could take a leading role in TNPP commercialisation and strategic infrastructure development.

Off-grid diesel replacement in Canada presents a significant opportunity, with the majority of remote communities each requiring up to 5 MWe, and remote mines ~15-45 MWe. Prodigy dys its TNPPs could accelerate achievement of Canada’s Northern energy security goals by deploying microreactors safely and economically, even in hard-to-access locations.

In January, Prodigy and US-based Westinghouse said they were designing a TNPP featuring a Westinghouse eVinci microreactor with the aim of launching the first project in Canada by 2030. The TNPP will comprise 5 MWe eVinci microreactors installed on a floating Prodigy Microreactor Power Station.

“Prodigy’s microreactor TNPP offers a near-term solution to transition remote locations off of diesel,” said Mathias Trojer, Prodigy President & CEO. “Meeting Indigenous Peoples’ requirements for TNPP design and energy delivery, and ensuring maximal participation of Indigenous groups as part of our technology development and commercialisation programs, are cornerstone to our success.”

“Ensuring a secure, carbon-free, and affordable electricity and heat supply for all of Canada is crucial, and SMRs will play a significant role,” said Sean Willy, President & CEO, Des Nëdhé Group. “TNPP technologies address many of the upfront concerns that Indigenous groups have when considering a potential SMR project. This includes minimising the environmental impact and reducing the project life cycle complexity and cost, when compared to a traditional site-constructed SMR. The end use opportunity for TNPPs across remote industrial and residential power in Canada is very significant.”

Image: Conceptual illustration of Prodigy’s Microreactor Power Station TNPP. Variant is marine transported and coastally installed on land (courtesy of Prodigy)

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