Atlantica recently interviewed Bill Labbe, President and CEO of ARC Clean Technology to learn more about ARC Clean Technology’s regional and global stake in the energy sector.

Q: Please tell us about ARC Clean Technology. What do you do in the energy sector?

ARC Clean Technology (ARC) is a clean energy technology company developing the ARC-100, an advanced small modular reactor (SMR) in New Brunswick. Our technology is a sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR) which uses liquid sodium as a coolant instead of water. This allows the coolant to operate at higher temperatures and lower pressures than current traditional reactors which improves the efficiency of the system. We are truly reshaping the clean energy industry by providing affordable electricity and industrial heat that is scalable and carbon free.

Our first project is a Commercial Demonstration Unit at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station in partnership with New Brunswick Power. The licensing process began back in June of 2023 when NB Power submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) registration document to the Department of Environment and Local Government (DELG), and a License to Prepare Site (LTPS) Application to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). The project is on track to be the first grid-scale Generation IV aSMR deployed in Canada.

Q: How does ARC Clean Technology collaborate with First Nations partners?

Building and nurturing genuine, long-lasting, and mutually beneficial partnerships with Indigenous communities, is ingrained in our values and operations.

Last fall, ARC made history by announcing a first-of-a-kind equity agreement in the field of SMR technology with North Shore Mi’kmaq Tribal Council (NSMTC) and its seven First Nation member communities. The historic equity agreement empowers NSMTC and its member communities to share in ARC’s successes in developing and deploying advanced nuclear technology both locally in New Brunswick and on a global scale.

And our collaboration with First Nations partners extends far beyond equity opportunities. Since establishing our headquarters in New Brunswick, situated on the traditional territory of the Wolastoqiyik, Mi’kmaq, and Peskotomuhtaki peoples, ARC has been dedicated to actively engaging with and including First Nation communities in our initiatives. We understand the importance of fostering meaningful relationships built on trust, transparency, and mutual respect.

Headshot of ARC Clean Technology’s President and CEO.

Q: What role will ARC Clean Technology’s assets and operations play in the Province of New Brunswick’s energy transition?

Since being selected for deployment by NB Power in 2018, ARC Clean Technology has been firmly anchored in the province, demonstrating a commitment to advancing sustainable energy solutions for New Brunswickers.

The recent release of the Clean Energy Strategy and Hydrogen Road Map by the Government of New Brunswick highlights the importance of small modular reactor (SMR) technology to the provincial net zero strategy.

The Clean Energy Strategy includes a clear roadmap for the next 12 years that includes 150MW of SMR capacity in the early 2030s followed by an additional 450MW by 2035. This ambitious plan reflects the province’s leadership in embracing a diverse clean energy mix, with advanced nuclear technology like ours playing a pivotal role.

It is also important to mention that the capabilities of our advanced small modular reactor go beyond generating clean electricity for the grid. Its zero-emission firm heat makes it an ideal candidate for supporting clean hydrogen production, aligning perfectly with the province’s goal for a sustainable future. Leveraging its high heat capabilities to drive clean hydrogen initiatives is why the ARC-100 is the ideal choice for the proposed Green Energy Hub at the Port of Belledune.

Our goal is to build a robust advanced nuclear industry cluster in New Brunswick with jobs and supply chain opportunities as our province transitions to a clean energy economy. Furthermore, we aim to leverage the unique design features of the reactor, harnessing its capability to generate high-quality, life-saving medical isotopes. Canada stands as one of the largest producers of medical isotopes globally, with a significant portion originating from reactor-based production.

Q: What does the future look like for ARC Clean Technology?

Our immediate focus is on the submission of a license to construct application for our commercial demonstration unit at Point Lepreau in 2025.

In parallel, we continue our work to identify more partners, more sites, and explore new industry applications for our technology in New Brunswick, Canada and beyond.

And momentum is building for advanced nuclear energy solutions.

Close to home, the recent legislative changes in Nova Scotia are an example of a shift towards modernizing the electricity system and fostering innovation in the energy sector. The removal of barriers for Nova Scotia Power to consider small nuclear reactors demonstrates a forward-thinking approach to meeting energy demands efficiently and responsibly.

On a global scale, collaboration, and cooperation among regulatory bodies such as the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), US Nuclear Regulatory Commissions (U.S NRC), and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (U.K ONR) signify a concerted effort towards advancing nuclear technology. The Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signed among these regulators lays the groundwork for leveraging collective expertise and experience to support the development of advanced and small modular reactor technology

Overall, these developments paint a promising picture for ARC Clean Technology, as we continue our mission to protect the planet with clean energy.

To learn more about ARC Clean Technology, visit their website here.

To learn more about other Atlantica members, visit Our Partners page here.