by Prodigy Clean Energy
November 14, 2023
On November 14, 2023 in Vienna, Prodigy President and CEO Mathias Trojer presented to an audience of regulators, utilities, shipbuilders, SMR technology developers, governments, and other member state representatives, at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) first International Symposium on Floating Nuclear Power Plants (FNPPs). The event was eagerly anticipated by attendees who represented different elements of a rapidly growing global interest in the development and deployment of marine-based Small Modular Reactor (SMR) power plants.
At the IAEA Symposium, presentations featured FNPP front-runners worldwide, and spoke to the benefits of these technologies to enhance the contribution of nuclear energy toward achieving global net zero targets.
Prodigy is an innovative North American developer, leading a program to deploy factory-fabricated and transportable civil structures that can be integrated with different sizes and types of SMRs for diverse market applications. Depending on the power output of the facility, Prodigy Transportable Nuclear Power Plants (TNPPs) can be either marine (shoreside) or land deployed. This technological approach enables a current SMR design to be extended into siting conditions that are not practical or economic using traditional construction approaches, while retaining the original SMR’s operation and maintenance model. Utilizing a Prodigy TNPP for SMR deployment provides significant economic and plant life cycle advantages, including lower project capital costs, improved quality at the manufacturing facility, faster delivery schedule, reduced environmental footprint through less need for land clearing and excavation, reduced waste burden at the site, and complete removal of the facility at end of project life for expedited decommissioning.
Prodigy is planning its market entry point to be a TNPP ready for deployment to a site in Northern Canada by 2030. This First Plant would be powered by a microreactor, and support both electrical generation, as well as delivery of process heat needed for remote use. Carbon-free power supply would enable improvements in residents’ quality of life through reduced energy costs, higher energy reliability, and the ability to upgrade regional infrastructure. Further, it would support growth of economic opportunities in remote areas, such as mining and manufacturing. Enabling clean mining projects, for example, has significant potential to boost North America’s domestic critical minerals supply chain.
Prodigy is developing two sizes of TNPP facilities, customizable by SMR.
Figures: A) Prodigy Microreactor Power Station™ TNPP that is marine and land transportable, and marine and land deployable – this plant is specially designed for deployment in remote and off-grid regions. B) Prodigy SMR Marine Power Station™ TNPP deployable at the shoreline, and ideal for coal replacement and grid-scale power generation.
“Prodigy was privileged to present at the IAEA on our work and path to a First Plant. Marine-deployed SMR plants are a natural evolution of the new nuclear industry. Initially the focus was on the SMR technology itself – making them smaller, simpler and transportable. Now, Prodigy is making the entire power plant transportable, flexible for marine or land deployment, turnkey delivered to customers, and solving major challenges around nuclear power plant construction and end of life decommissioning. Prodigy technologies will accelerate a North American SMR fleet,” said Mathias Trojer, President and CEO, Prodigy Clean Energy.
IAEA panel discussions focused on different aspects of FNPPs, ranging from national deployment in territorial waters, to applications that would require the transport of fuelled FNPPs to other countries, and implications of FNPP deployment in international waters.
“Prodigy’s TNPP design and deployment methodologies, including for our marine-based facilities, are aligned with well-understood objectives and practices in the IAEA Safety Framework. By operating within existing regulatory boundaries, our technologies will meet requirements for safety, security, safeguards, and environmental protection, and achieve the fastest path to commercial implementation. We are completing important work to ensure that the licensing approach for Canada would be replicable to accelerate bringing microreactors into other jurisdictions, such as Alaska,” said Marcel Devos, Vice President, Innovation and Regulatory Affairs, Prodigy Clean Energy.
According to Mikhail Chudakov, Deputy Director General, Department of Nuclear Energy, IAEA, “A key advantage of marine-based SMRs is that they can be built in a factory, assembled in a shipyard and then delivered to remote sites or exported to other countries and can be sited in remote, off-grid communities to enhance the access of such communities to clean electricity and heat.”