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A rendering of the proposed ARC Clean Technology facility at Point Lepreau. Image: Submitted

ARC signs agreement with Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power

By Brad Perry Nov 29, 2023 | 6:37 AM

Another big milestone for a New Brunswick company developing small modular nuclear reactor technology.

ARC Clean Technology and NB Power signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) on Tuesday.

They will explore collaboration opportunities for the commercialization of ARC’s technology in Canada, Korea, the United States and elsewhere.

Bill Labbe, president and CEO of ARC, said the agreement is acknowledgement of the opportunity for its technology on a global scale.

“ARC is extremely excited to explore opportunities for collaboration with KHNP, one of the world’s largest nuclear operators,” Labbe said in a news release.

“This agreement builds on the successful partnership we have established with NB Power in the Canadian market, and is the first step towards our companies working together to bring the ARC-100 to a global market.”

KHNP operates 25 nuclear power units in South Korea and supplies about 30 per cent of the electric power within the country. The company has also constructed four nuclear power units in United Arab Emirates.

KHNP operates internationally, with offices in New York, Washington, Paris, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi and Prague.

“While our tripartite collaboration is in its early stages, I am confident that, leveraging our extensive know-how gained through 40 years of development and operation of nuclear reactors both at home and abroad, we can advance strengthened by a solid partnership with NB Power and ARC Clean Technology,” said Jooho Whang, CEO of KHNP.

ARC, working in partnership with NB Power, is hoping to have its demonstration unit at Point Lepreau up and running by the end of the decade.

The two partners submitted a licence to prepare site application to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in July.

At the same time, they also submitted an environmental impact assessment registration to the province. Environment Minister Gary Crossman later announced that the application will undergo a comprehensive environmental impact assessment.

Supply chain manager Anthony Jackman said procurement for some of the nuclear components will begin next year.

Contract awards are expected in the latter part of 2025, Jackman said during an Opportunities New Brunswick supply chain event earlier this fall.

“The unique ARC-100 design has a small nuclear island, which reduces the amount of specialized equipment and hardware,” said Jackman.

“This increases the opportunity for New Brunswick companies that currently supply similar services to heavy industry to participate in the construction of the ARC-100 plant beginning with the first unit.”