Prodigy Brings TNPPs for Mining to PDAC 2024

by Prodigy Clean Energy

March 13, 2024

TORONTO, CANADA – Earlier this month on March 6, 2024, at PDAC, Deloitte and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency convened an international group of government and industry stakeholders to discuss The Role of Small Modular Reactors to Decarbonize the Mining Sector. This exclusive event featured talks from leaders in nuclear, mining, and strategic infrastructure financing. Discussions focused on the mining end-use opportunity for SMRs, suitability of different reactor concepts, and the financial and regulatory pathways to a first-of-a-kind project.

Left to right on the panel: Photinie Koutsavlis, VP, Economic Affairs and Climate Change, Mining Association of Canada (Moderator); Agata Leszkiewicz, Senior Manager, eVinci Business Development, Westinghouse Electric Company; Jos Diening, CEO, Global First Power; Mathias Trojer, CEO, Prodigy Clean Energy; and Joshua Parker, Director, Business Development, BWXT BANR.

As part of the Technology Push panel, Prodigy CEO, Mathias Trojer, presented on Prodigy’s Transportable Nuclear Power Plants (TNPPs), and how they would enable a more streamlined approach to SMR deployment for remote mining in Canada and other parts of the world. When compared to a site-constructed SMR, the benefits of using a Prodigy TNPP were clear: centralized manufacturing, outfitting and completion of certain commissioning operations in a factory setting, followed by transport of the entire facility to site, reduce CAPEX and translate to faster readiness for commercial power generation. 

Prodigy works directly with mining companies to evaluate their load demands and select an SMR or Microreactor meeting requisite performance requirements, that would then be integrated into the Prodigy TNPP. Once deployed, the transportable SMR facility would support safe, carbon-free, reliable and cost-competitive electricity generation, as well as other value added products that could be derived from the process heat. The ability to readily remove the TNPP from site for decommissioning, such that there are no legacy waste issues, continues to be a major selling point, especially for Indigenous participants at the Deloitte and OECD NEA meeting. Mr. Trojer reinforced that TNPP installation either coastally on land, or in a marine environment within a protected harbor, could be accomplished in compliance with existing Canadian regulatory processes.

In addition to exploring topics surrounding licensing, mining companies loudly echoed one key message in concert: they do not wish to become operators of SMRs. Instead, they expect SMR plants, including TNPPs, to be operated by qualified nuclear organizations who could deliver energy to the mine in a safe and reliable way. Prodigy’s ongoing practice to work with nuclear operators continually throughout its TNPP development and commercialization programs aligns with this thinking.

An interesting question was raised about whether a TNPP could be relocated and repurposed to another mine site if the power was no longer needed. Although this has never been done before anywhere in the world, this is an area that Prodigy is actively exploring with government and regulators. Under the circumstance where the TNPP is powering the mine plus communities nearby, the social impact of removing the power source would need to play a very strong factor. For remote communities, TNPPs could become a long-term, reliable source of clean and affordable power.