About The Assets
EGME’s strategic ambition is to build out its presence in the global energy resources market and to deploy capital where management sees strong long-term fundamental needs for the resources product.
Balancing global demand for energy with the need for access to a diverse set of fuel sources, including low-carbon generation, requires investment in and the development of new energy technologies.
In October 2016 it was announced that EGME had reached an agreement to invest in LeadCold Reactors, the Swedish-Canadian lead-cooled small nuclear reactor technology company.
About LeadCold Reactors
LeadCold Reactors was founded in 2013 in Stockholm, with a Canadian subsidiary in Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
The company’s core competences include fast reactor core design, transient analysis, corrosion and materials science, nuclear fuel development, lead coolant chemistry, radiation damage and severe accident analysis.
LeadCold’s Swedish Advanced Lead Reactor, or SEALER (Swedish Advanced Lead Reactor), design can generate low-carbon nuclear power production of 3 to 10 MW of electricity over a 10 to 30 year period, with no refuelling needs. The reactor uses break-through corrosion resistant technology, and it is a safe, reliable and cost-competitive base-load power generation source.
The SEALER units are intended for commercial off-grid use, for example in mining operations, where carbon-emitting and costly diesel generators are the primary technology for base-load power generation.
EGME’s investment is intended to enable LeadCold to complete a pre-licensing design review of SEALER with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and to aid R&D efforts necessary to obtain a license to build commercial SEALER units in Canada.
LeadCold and EGME entered SEALER into Phase 1 of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission pre-license review in December 2016. The objective is to receive a license for construction in Canada by end of 2021 and to have its first SEALER unit ready for operation in 2025.
SEALER is a lead-cooled reactor designed with the smallest possible core that can achieve criticality in a fast spectrum using 19.9% enriched uranium oxide (UOX) fuel. The rate of electricity production may vary between 3 to 10 MW, leading to a core-life between 10 and 30 full power years (at 90% availability). The reactor is designed to maintain a maximum temperature of the lead coolant below 450°C, making corrosion of fuel cladding and structural materials a manageable phenomenon, even over a life-span of several decades.
The safety features of lead mean that the core can manage a complete loss of off-site power for weeks before integrity of the fuel rods is challenged. Should any volatile fission products be released into the coolant, 99.99% will be chemically retained by the lead. The eventual release of noble gases and residual volatiles results in a radiological exposure at the site boundary which is smaller than the natural background dose received over the course of a few months. As a result, no accident scenario can lead to a situation where evacuation becomes necessary.