Saskatchewan Research Council has received $80 million in government funding to operate the first eVinci ‘microreactor’ in Canada. Westinghouse and SRC signed an MOU last year to jointly develop a project to locate the microreactor in Saskatchewan to further explore industrial, research and energy use applications.

The $80 m will support licensing and other work for the project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2029, subject to licensing and regulatory processes. The location of the microreactor will be determined as the project progresses.

Westinghouse began the Vendor Design Review process with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in June. The company is seeking regulatory joint-review on a few aspects of the technology with the CNSC and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Westinghouse recently received funding from the US Department of Energy to plan for the location of the eVinci Nuclear Test Reactor at Idaho National Lab. The test reactor, a one-fifth scale representation of the eVinci unit, will enable design finalisation, testing and licensing of the technology. Last year, the Canadian government awarded Westinghouse a grant from its Strategic Innovation Fund to further the technology’s development.

The eVinci microreactor has very few moving parts, and works essentially as a battery, providing the versatility for power systems ranging from several kilowatts to 5 MWe, delivered continuously for eight or more years without refuelling. It can also produce high temperature heat suitable for industrial applications including alternative fuel production such as hydrogen, and has the flexibility to balance renewable output. The technology is 100 % factory built and assembled before it is shipped in a container to any location.