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August 29th, 2009

A boost for small nuclear reactors

Published on August 29th, 2009 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Western Troy Capital Resources announced that it plans to form a wholly owned private corporation to provide small nuclear reactor electric power generating stations for installation in remote locations in Canada and other markets.

Rex Loesby, CEO of Western Troy says, “As we worked through the feasibility process for our MacLeod Lake Project, we evaluated a number of electric power options. One option is a small nuclear reactor. We found there are a number of small reactor designs in operation and under development around the world and there looks to be an opportunity to work with one or more of these reactor designs to develop the technology specifically for remote communities and mine sites in Canada. Some of these small reactor designs have operated for decades without safety issues, nuclear reactors do not release carbon emissions and there are communities and mines in remote locations throughout Canada that would benefit greatly from clean, safe and relatively low cost electric power.”

But all is not cast in stone as yet. Western Troy’s proceeding will depend on a wide range of factors. Suitable technology is just one. The regulatory environment of the potential customers is another, and the financial issues are still very uncertain.

Yet the opportunities are profound, especially in remote areas. Loesby says, “What started out as an engineering exercise quickly grew into an idea that could be revolutionary for the development of northern communities and resources in Canada. We have begun to see this as much more than a commercial venture, but an opportunity for Canada to lead the world in clean energy development for remote sites.”

While Western Troy’s efforts are not a sure thing to bare fruit, this is good news for those who work in reactor development, construction and installation. Most of any small reactor installation is going to be modular, factory built, transportable, radioactive friendly and essentially proliferation proof.

The company says it has already met with representatives of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to begin exploring regulatory issues, and has retained a group of Canadian science advisers, including several former scientists and engineers from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.


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