SaskPower has identified the Estevan and Elbow areas for future study as the host of small modular reactors (SMR).
The Estevan study area includes the areas around Boundary/Rafferty Dam and the Grant Devine Dam. The Elbow study area encompasses the area around Lake Diefenbaker, from Gardiner Dam to the Diefenbaker Dam.
To select these study areas, SaskPower looked at proximity to a suitable water supply, existing power infrastructure, workforce, nuclear regulations and standards, and learnings from past generation siting projects.
A final decision on whether to build an SMR won’t happen until 2029. Still, SaskPower is keeping the nuclear power option open, as significant planning and regulatory work must be done now – and a necessary step to advance this regulatory work is to identify and select a location to host an SMR potentially.
Honourable Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskPower, said that identifying these two areas is a big step.
“By identifying these two study areas, SaskPower has reached another critical milestone in its planning work to potentially bring nuclear power to Saskatchewan,” he said. “Saskatchewan’s commitment to a sustainable, reliable, and affordable electrical system is evident with today’s announcement.”
SaskPower stated that as it proceeds with planning and regulatory works, it will establish engagement activities with Indigenous Rightsholders, rural and urban municipalities, businesses, residents, and other stakeholders both within the study areas and across the province.
Rupen Pandya, President and CEO at SaskPower, said they must receive as much feedback as possible.
“Feedback and perspectives from not just the regions but from the entire province are very important to SaskPower as we plan to potentially incorporate nuclear power into the generation mix,” he said. “Engagement and consultation with Indigenous Rightsholders and the public is critical to this project. I encourage the people of Saskatchewan to reach out and engage with us on this important project.”
The utility will also meet with non-government organizations, government ministries and agencies, and other organizations within the study areas to gain a regional perspective regarding nuclear power.