A number of arctic communities in Canada remain disconnected from national power grids and road networks. Today they produce their electricity using diesel generators, for which the fuel can be shipped only during a few summer months. The resulting cost of electricity is about ten times higher than for on-grid communities. Solar power is obviously not an option during the polar winter.
In addition, mining sites in the Canadian arctic have huge expenditures for transporting fuel by ice-road to their premises. Therefore, a significant fraction of the cost for the commodities produced by mining is related to fuel.
The use of small nuclear reactors for power production in off-grid communities and mining sites could address the need for less costly, reliable and sustainable power. The boundary condition is that under no circumstances can evacuation from such locations be considered. Moreover, fuel reloading should be avoided during the life of the reactor. Finally, transport of the reactor vessel and components to the site must be possible by ship, ice-road or aircraft. SEALER can meet all of these requirements.
The United Kingdom considers nuclear power as one of the means to address climate change, and factory produced small/advanced modular reactors have been identified as a possibility to address the large investment risk related to new-build of large LWRs. The price of electricity on the UK market is higher than in other European countries, making the deployment of multi-unit SMRs potentially competitive. SEALER-55 has been designed by LeadCold to fit the UK market conditions and requirements.
Sweden has a long tradition of fossil-free base-load power production using nuclear power. Currently, prices on the Nordic electricity market are too low to enable replacement of ageing units with nuclear new-build, but it is expected that further introduction of intermittent renewables and associated back-up systems will lead to an increase in the price of electricity. LeadCold is designing a multi-unit SEALER concept that may be deployed on existing nuclear power sites in Sweden in the 2030’s, if market conditions are right.
Diesel power in Rankin Inlet
© LeadCold Reactors, 2021