UPDATE 1-Canadian review of GE Hitachi reactor shows no big barriers to licensing

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(Adds quotes from regulator, background)

OTTAWA, March 15 (Reuters) - Canada's nuclear safety regulator on Wednesday said a review of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy's design for a small modular reactor had revealed no fundamental barriers to licensing.

Canada, like the rest of the G7 nations, is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050 and is providing C$970 million ($700 million)in financing to develop a grid-scale GE Hitachi small modular reactor in the province of Ontario.

"GE Hitachi understands and has correctly interpreted the intent of regulatory requirements for the design of nuclear power plants in Canada. CNSC staff did not identify any fundamental barriers to licensing," the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission said.

It said regulators did need more information about radiation and fire protection and protective measures for workers "in the event of an out-of-core criticality accident."

GE Hitachi would also need to show its design meets the requirement for two separate, independent and diverse means of reactor shutdown, the CNSC said.

The three-year optional review, which was requested by GE Hitachi, would not influence future licensing decisions, the CNSC said. Ontario expects the project to be completed by 2030.

($1 = 1.3792 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by David Ljunggren and Ismail Shakil; Editing by Bill Berkrot)