Canada is well positioned to become a global leader in the development and deployment of small modular reactor (SMR) technology, Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi said yesterday at the release of a report outlining the potential applications for SMRs in the country.
The report, A Call to Action: A Canadian Roadmap for Small Modular Reactors , was unveiled at the Generation IV and Small Reactor (G4SR) conference in Ottawa. The report is the culmination of an initiative launched in February by Canada’s Department of Natural Resources. The ten-month process involved expert analysis, consultation with industry and end users, and initial engagement with indigenous communities and organisations. It includes more than 50 recommendations on, for example, waste management, regulatory readiness and international engagement.
SMRs are smaller in scale than traditional nuclear power plants, with lower up-front capital costs and enhanced safety features. They also have the potential to provide non-carbon emitting energy in a wide range of applications, such as grid-scale electricity generation and heavy industry, including in remote communities such as those found in Canada’s northern regions, mining and oil sands operations.
"Small modular reactors represent a promising area of energy innovation in Canada. The Roadmap includes recommendations that will help inform ongoing collaboration among federal, provincial and territorial governments - as well as other stakeholders and indigenous communities - to ensure Canada becomes a global leader in the development of this new technology", Sohi sad.
The report recommends actions according to four pillars. The first pillar, Demonstration and Deployment, includes calling on the federal government, and provincial governments interested in SMRs, to provide funding to cost-share with industry in one or more SMR demonstration projects for advanced reactor designs. Federal and provincial governments should implement measures to share risk with private investors to incentivise first commercial deployment of SMRs in Canada, with the potential of exporting SMR technologies and related innovations developed in Canada to international markets.