Sask. among four provinces launching strategic plan for small modular nuclear reactors

Saskatchewan is teaming up with Ontario, New Brunswick and Alberta in a joint strategic plan on small modular reactors (SMRs).

SMRs are nuclear fission reactors that are smaller than conventional nuclear reactors and typically have an electrical power output of fewer than 300 megawatts.

The strategic plan highlights how SMRs can provide safe, reliable and zero-emissions energy to power our growing economy and population while creating new opportunities to export Canadian knowledge and expertise around the world.

Minister Responsible for SaskPower Don Morgan said the plan’s first stage would hear from the public.

“The critical part of this planning work is extensive engagement and public dialogue throughout the entire province, not just now but for the next several years,” he said. “SMR technology has the potential to help our economies grow and prosper while contributing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resilience to the effects of climate change.”

“Nuclear power from SMRs is one of the options we’re considering that could provide baseload power, emissions-free,” he said. “Nuclear power generated by SMRs could be a significant benefit for the country on multiple fronts.”

The report identifies five key priority areas for SMR development and deployment in Saskatchewan and Canada:

• Positioning Canada as an exporter of global SMR technology by propelling three separate streams of SMR development, covering both on-grid and off-grid applications.
• Promoting a strong nuclear regulatory framework that focuses on the health and safety of the public and the environment while ensuring reasonable costs and timelines.
• Securing federal government commitments on financial and policy support for new SMR technologies that would lead to vast economic benefits across the country and help meet our emissions reduction targets.
• 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.

Since December 2019, Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have been working together to advance SMRs in Canada with Alberta joining in April 2021.

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