For the second time this week, an international company is investing in nuclear technology in New Brunswick.
On Friday, British-based Moltex, flanked by NB Power brass and Energy Minister Rick Doucet, announced a plan for a facility that would use spent fuel from the Candu reactor at Point Lepreau.
That follows an announcement Tuesday, when a U.S.-based company announced it was investing $5 million and opening an office in Saint John.
The goal is to develop a small modular reactor, with inherent safety features and much lower costs than a conventional reactor.
Both companies are partnering with the newly-formed New Brunswick Energy Solutions Corporation, and will benefit from the recently announced $10 million earmarked for nuclear development.
Despite the fact a provincial election is around the corner, Minister Doucet claims politics has nothing to do with the announcements.
“This is something we’ve been working on for quite some time. The contracts are all signed, the memorandum of understanding we’ve been working on, so this has nothing to do with an election,” Doucet says.
WATCH: U.S.-based nuclear power company commits $5M to operations and research in N.B.
Moltex has not developed a functioning reactor to this point, but claims New Brunswick is the ideal jurisdiction to make that happen.
“Everybody realizes the future is in advanced reactors, everybody talks about it, but New Brunswick is actually doing something about it,” Moltec CEO Stephen Haighton says.
Atlantica Centre for Energy President Colleen Mitchell agrees.
“It’s great to have different companies with different approaches looking at solving a problem. In this case, how to generate non-emitting power for the people of New Brunswick and for export potential.”
Moltex says it’s in the later stages of development with hopes of building a commercially viable reactor within a decade.
Both companies claim once developed, additional reactors could be built in New Brunswick and sold throughout the world.