A new report from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC) says the development of small modular reactors in New Brunswick is expected to have an economic impact of $1.3 billion once built.

The APEC report on major projects in the Atlantic region lists a value of $800 million for the Moltex Energy SMR project and $500 million for the ARC Clean Energy project, both based in Saint John, N.B.

ARC is developing the ARC-100 SMR, a sodium-cooled fast reactor. Moltex is developing Stable Salt Reactor (SSR) technology.

NB Power and the province of New Brunswick are working with the two proponents to develop SMRs for commercial use. If successful, the SMR could be used in New Brunswick and/or built in the province for export markets.

The Moltex Energy project will consist of the reactor, a grid reserve system to store power, and a waste to stable salt facility to recycle nuclear waste into fuel. The federal government gave Moltex $51 million earlier this year for its development. The Strategic Innovation Fund provided $48 million and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency $3 million, which will be matched by Moltex Energy.

The company is working on its preliminary design and finalizing its input to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

ARC will be developing a 100-megawatt, sodium-cooled fast reactor capable of recycling its used fuel. The reactor will have a 20-year fuel cycle and will be best applied for desalination and hydrogen production.

Earlier this year, ARC Clean Energy received $25 million from New Brunswick and will be matching it with $30 million from private investments. The reactor is currently in the development phase and is anticipated to be operational by 2030.