Ontario Lands Major Nuclear Agreements Abroad; Creates Jobs at Home

In Provincial

Agreements will create jobs for province’s nuclear workers and support economic growth

The Ontario Government announced the completion of the first phase of site preparation for Ontario’s first Small Modular Reactor (SMR), the first in the G7, being built at Darlington. In addition, the government announced the successful completion of trade missions to Romania and France, securing significant deals totalling $360 million that will support Ontario’s economy and workforce. These agreements will leverage the province’s nuclear expertise to create jobs for Ontario workers and grow the province’s nuclear-supply chain.

This mission, led by Minister of Energy and Electrification Stephen Lecce, days after his appointment on Thursday June 6th 2024, along with Minister of Education Todd Smith, included the signing of new agreements with SN Nuclearelectrica S.A. (SNN) in Romania and Stellarex in France.

“With increasing geopolitical volatility, it is clear that countries around the world are looking for stable democratic energy partners that offer clean, reliable and affordable energy — and Ontario is once again answering that call,” said Minister Lecce. “Thanks to Ontario’s domestic nuclear program we are landing major agreements abroad that are creating value-added jobs back home in Ontario as we deliver a major nuclear refurbishment in Romania that is going to support energy security for Europe. This government will continue our ambitious plan to expand affordable energy generation across this province, while always opposing higher taxes and costs on working families.”

In Romania, Minister Lecce and Minister Smith joined Romanian Energy Minister Sebastian Burduja for the signing of a $360 million (CAD) agreement between Ontario Power Generation (OPG) subsidiary Canadian Nuclear Partners and Romanian energy company SNN for support on the refurbishment of Romania’s Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1. This agreement will see SNN leverage the expertise of Ontario’s nuclear workers who have demonstrated their ability to deliver these multi-billion-dollar infrastructure programs on-time and on-budget.

In France, Minister Smith joined OPG and Stellarex, a fusion technology company, for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to explore opportunities for the development and deployment of fusion energy in Ontario. Ontario is a leader in nuclear innovation, including the construction of the G7’s first SMR, and this agreement demonstrates continued interest in Ontario as a global destination for advancing and building new technologies.

The Government announced that Ontario Power Generation has now completed the early works for the first SMR in the G7 on time and on budget. The site has now been transitioned into the care of the Darlington New Nuclear Project’s construction partner, Aecon, to allow for main site preparation to begin. This work includes excavation, the construction of shoring walls, as well as land clearance for three additional units.

“The thousands of jobs being created to support Ontario’s international position as a supplier of nuclear technology and the thousands more supporting nuclear power generation in Ontario will help drive the provincial economy for years to come. The nuclear supply chain provides jobs and economic prosperity across Ontario.” said Jeff Parnell, President of the Power Workers’ Union. “Nuclear power is the backbone of our clean electricity system, providing secure, affordable and zero emission baseload electricity to Ontario. The construction of the new SMRs at Darlington, the proposed large-scale reactors at the Bruce and the refurbishment of four reactors in Pickering will continue to serve Ontarians into the future.’

“The world is watching Ontario as we deliver multi-billion-dollar nuclear refurbishments on-time and on schedule and build the first small modular reactor in the G7,” said Minister Smith. “Now countries around the world want to benefit from our expertise, opening up new doors, including for our students who will have even more opportunities to find rewarding jobs that help deliver the clean energy our province and the world needs.”

Minister Lecce and Minister Smith also met with European government representatives and energy companies to showcase the province’s strength as a world-leader in nuclear energy. This included meetings with Romanian Minister of Energy Sebastian Burduja, EnergoNuclear and, Romatom. They also hosted a Nuclear Education Roundtable alongside leaders of Europe’s nuclear industry and Ontario universities to discuss workforce and talent gaps in Romania’s nuclear sector and opportunities for future collaboration.

These opportunities are only possible because of project’s underway as part of the government’s Powering Ontario’s Growth Plan, which includes significant investments in nuclear energy and the 67,000 Ontario jobs supported by the sector, including:

Quick Facts

  • Stellarex is advancing a stellarator approach to fusion energy which is among the leading technologies scientists believe will lead to real-world fusion power. It uses extremely strong electromagnets to generate twisting magnetic fields to create the right conditions for fusion reactions.
  • In France, Minister Smith also visited the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, an international energy experiment which is building a device to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale, emissions-free source of energy.
  • In April 2024, Ontario welcomed a $80 million investment in nuclear manufacturing in Cambridge by BWXT Canada which will create 250 new jobs. This investment is the direct result of the government’s commitment to nuclear energy.
  • In December 2021, BWXT Canada signed an agreement, valued at up to $1 billion, to build key components in Ontario to support the deployment of Small Modular Reactors in Poland.
Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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