The governments of four Canadian provinces – Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Alberta—have published a plan outlining the path forward for the advancement of small modular reactors.
The plan, contained in a 60-page document, ‘A Strategic Plan for the Deployment of Small Modular Reactors’, builds on an SMR feasibility study conducted under a memorandum of understanding signed in 2019 by the premiers of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan and in 2021 by the premier of Alberta. Prepared by Ontario Power Generation, Bruce Power, New Brunswick Power, and SaskPower, the study concluded that SMR development would support domestic energy needs, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and position Canada as a global leader in clean technologies and the fight against climate change.
Released on March 28, the strategic plan identifies five areas for SMR development and deployment:
- Positioning Canada as a global SMR technology hub by propelling three separate streams of SMR development, covering both on-grid and off-grid applications.
- Promoting a solid nuclear regulatory framework that focuses public safety and the environment while ensuring reasonable costs and timelines.
- Securing federal government commitments on financial and policy support for new SMR technologies.
- Creating opportunities for participation from indigenous communities and public engagement.
- Working with the federal government and nuclear operators on a robust nuclear waste management plan for SMRs.
Todd Smith, Ontario’s minister of energy, commented: “We know the world is watching us when it comes to SMRs, and I’m confident that our reputation as a global hub for SMR expertise will only grow stronger from here.”
Don Morgan, Saskatchewan’s minister responsible for SaskPower, noted: SaskPower’s four-year collaboration with OPG to assess SMR designs for fleet-based deployment in both Ontario and Saskatchewan has laid a strong foundation for nuclear power and to support deep reductions in Canada’s GHG emissions to ultimately achieve net zero by 2050.”