PROCESSWEST Magazine Online

Provinces endorse development, deployment of Small Modular Reactors

December 3, 2019   Don Horne




SaskatchewanOntario and New Brunswick are advancing the development and deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) to address climate change, regional energy demand and economic development.

Saskatchewan already provides the uranium that powers Canada’s nuclear reactors,” says Mike Marsh, president and CEO of SaskPower. “As Saskatchewan phases out coal by 2030, we need to look at all options to reduce our emissions. The modern grid of the future will pave the way for innovations such as SMRs, power storage, electric vehicles and customer self-generation.”

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed on Dec. 1 in Toronto, Ont. by Premier Scott Moe (Saskatchewan)Ontario Premier Doug Ford and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, commits the provinces to work cooperatively to:

  • advance the development and deployment of SMRs to address the needs of SaskatchewanOntario and New Brunswick;
  • address key issues for SMR deployment such as technological readiness, regulatory frameworks, economics and financing, waste management, and public and Indigenous engagement;
  • work with all levels of government to help promote nuclear as clean energy that is essential in fighting climate change;
  • develop support for SMRs as identified in the SMR Roadmap and as requested by the CEOs of SaskPower, Ontario Power Generation, Bruce Power and NB Power;
  • positively influence the federal government to make the necessary changes to facilitate the introduction of SMRs;
  • inform the public about the economic and environmental benefits of nuclear energy and SMRs; and
  • engage with other interested provinces and territories to explore the potential for SMR deployment in their jurisdictions.

SMRs represent the next generation of innovative, versatile and scalable nuclear reactors that promise to further enhance the safety, economic and environmental benefits of nuclear energy.

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“This agreement helps enable Canada to lead the world in the development of innovative, low-carbon nuclear technologies,” says John Gorman, president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association. “SMRs are a powerful tool in the reduction of adverse environmental impacts from energy production. They’re an exciting innovation story, but more than that, SMRs can help accelerate the pathway for Canadian provinces to reach their GHG reduction targets.”

SMRs have significant potential in Canada’s energy future, which includes providing clean and reliable electricity and heat to small and remote communities such as in Canada’s north; clean process heat and electricity for resource industries such as Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining and Alberta’s oil sands; and clean electricity to existing power grids, particularly those needing clean energy to replace fossil fuels (e.g. coal) for their baseload electricity generation.


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