Western Troy Capital Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:WRY, “Western Troy”) announced August 17th 2009 that it plans to form a wholly owned private corporation to provide small nuclear reactor electric power generating stations for installation in remote locations in Canada and other markets.
That likely excludes the U.S. American’s are very unlikely to benefit from the new reactor designs due to regulatory, political and special interest opposition. It’s a shame, as U.S. market access would add a lot of unit volume and reduced costs for everyone.
It’s not even considering that two leading reactor makers are U.S. firms, Hyperion for one and the new Babcock & Wilcox design for another. It makes you wonder what the U.S. Congress is doing. Ah, Cap and Trade is it?
Western Troy has gathered a distinguished group of Canadians to act as advisors for the venture. The group includes Dr. Glenn Harvel who has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering and is an Associate Professor on the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). He worked at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) from 1995 until 2006. Dr. Dan Meneley has a Ph.D. in Reactor Physics and has worked as Chief Engineer with AECL as well as many of the other nuclear power agencies and companies in Canada and around the world. He also teaches nuclear science and engineering on the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science at UOIT. Dr. Gary Kugler has a Ph.D. in Experimental Nuclear Physics and is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. He is also a member of the Board of Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Prior that, he was with AECL for 34 years where his last position was Senior VP responsible for AECL’s commercial operations.
In the course of meetings this group to begin the development of technical, permitting, and business plans for the venture. Western Troy management also met with representatives of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to begin contacts within the regulatory community. The focus of the venture over the next few months will be fund raising, organizational development, and the selection of the best reactor design.
Rex Loesby, CEO of Western Troy says, “As we worked through the feasibility process for our MacLeod Lake Project, we evaluated a number of electric power options. One option is a small nuclear reactor. We found there are a number of small reactor designs in operation and under development around the world and there looks to be an opportunity to work with one or more of these reactor designs to develop the technology specifically for remote communities and mine sites in Canada. Some of these small reactor designs have operated for decades without safety issues, nuclear reactors do not release carbon emissions, and there are communities and mines in remote locations throughout Canada that would benefit greatly from clean, safe, and relatively low cost electric power.”
This is a good example of ‘movin’ and shakin’ things up. The list of potential sites and consumers across the world for small nuclear is mind boggling. Which leads to the management thinking:
Western Troy management has determined that it would be best to form a wholly owned private corporation to advance the development of small nuclear reactors in Canada. When funds are raised for the new venture, holders of Western Troy stock will not be diluted, although Western Troy’s ownership interest in the small reactor venture would be diluted. That implies that Canadians have a shot at the legendary cash cow of power generation in base load yielding steady income.
But all is not cast in stone as yet. Western Troy’s proceeding will depend on a wide range of factors. Suitable technology is just one, the regulatory environment of the customers is another, and the financial issues are still very uncertain even as the world’s largest banks are recovering at incredible personal costs to Americans and citizens the world over.
Yet the opportunities are profound especially in remote areas. Loesby says, “What started out as an engineering exercise quickly grew into an idea that could be revolutionary for the development of northern communities and resources in Canada. We have begun to see this as much more than a commercial venture, but an opportunity for Canada to lead the world in clean energy development for remote sites.”
That’s has to be a bell ringer for power and construction companies the world over. The need for power generation outside of the U.S. is much higher. Across much of the developing world power isn’t available or blacked out or browned down with painful frequency. The developed world has enjoyed steady supplies of electricity and this writer suspects, is still blind to the issues where the vast numbers of people live.
While Western Troy’s efforts are not s sure thing to bare fruit, this news must send shivers of joy to those who work in reactor development, construction and installation. Most of any small reactor installation is going to be modular, factory built, transportable, radioactive friendly and essentially proliferation proof.
In any case the Western Troy announcement is a shot across the bow of many firms whose business is to build and service customers with electricity. It a welcome move, from the U.S.’ most consistent friend and good supportive neighbor. I do sincerely wish them good luck and God’s speed. Shake that market up, folks! You’re doing the world a favor.