Global First Power (GFP) believes that small modular reactors (SMRs) are the solution that will help meet Canada’s energy demands while also supporting environmental and climate change goals.
In the face of ever-increasing demand for energy, Canada needs clean energy sources that decrease the impact on the environment. Enter nuclear energy: clean, reliable, adaptable energy at a competitive cost, with virtually no emissions that contribute to greenhouse gases or smog.
GFP is currently working to construct and operate an SMR – a Micro Modular Reactor® (MMR®) – at Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario, a site owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) and managed by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL). This project will serve as a model for future nuclear energy projects in remote communities and heavy industry.
Our values of Safety, Respect, Community, and Passion guide us as we work to achieve our project goals.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m an engineer by education, and I’m also a husband and father. Being involved in clean energy generation and working towards a safe, sustainable future is very important to me professionally and personally. I spent over a decade working at OPG, leading a wide range of projects. When the opportunity arose to join Global First Power (GFP) in 2022, I was excited to lead a team of passionate professionals committed to proving that micro modular reactor technology is safe, cost-effective, and a viable alternative to reliance on diesel in remote communities and mines.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
If I could give myself one piece of advice before joining GFP, it would be to make sure the team is composed of people who are technically proficient and passionate about our mission. We often joke that we are building the plane while flying it, and in order to keep giving our technical best in that kind of environment, we have to really care about the work that we’re doing. Working in a startup isn’t always glamorous – it can be hard and confusing and really push you to stretch your thinking. All of that is made easier when you personally align with the company’s mission.
What problem does your business solve?
A lot of remote and northern communities in Canada are not connected to a traditional electrical grid. They rely on diesel being trucked in to power homes and businesses. GFP’s MMR could be life-changing for those communities. Having safe, affordable, reliable, clean energy available would allow communities to thrive in ways we’ve never considered. Or imagine having safe, clean energy powering a mining operation to minimize the environmental impact.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
GFP is excited to be at the forefront of the nuclear renaissance. We were inspired by the global commitment to reduce carbon emissions and particularly to address energy generation issues faced by remote and northern communities in Canada.
What is your magic sauce?
GFP is thrilled to be leading a project that features building a fourth-generation nuclear power plant that is inherently safe by design, using a new type of innovative fuel.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Right now, our team is focused on completing our Chalk River demonstration project successfully and proving the viability of this new technology in Canada and around the world. Once we achieve that, the sky’s the limit in terms of building and operating a larger commercial fleet of MMRs to support the communities and businesses that are watching our project closely.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine impacted our fuel-sourcing plans and caused us to regroup and develop an alternative. No one saw that coming. Our design partner’s brilliant team was able to adjust course and find a solution.
How can people get involved?
We’re on an exciting journey, and we encourage people who want to learn more about the next generation of nuclear to follow our progress on our website (Home – Global First Power) and LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/global-first-power .