The Government of Alberta has partnered with three other provinces to support the development of nuclear energy in Canada. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick premiers have signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the development of scalable and versatile modular reactors. The provinces involved have agreed to collaborate on the development and advancement of small modular reactors (SMRs). An option for clean energy, to address climate change and energy demands while supporting regional economic growth and innovation.
The provinces’ focus for the development of SMRs is to support domestic energy, curb greenhouse gas emissions and put Canada in a position to be a global leader in this emerging technology. The benefit of implementing SMRs is that they produce 300 megawatts of electricity or less, which can support large companies and establishments as well as small or remote off-grid resource projects and communities.
A recent study conducted by Ontario Power Generation, NB Power and SaskPower, has identified three streams of SMR projects proposals for consideration.
Stream 1: proposes the first-grid-scale SMR project of 300 megawatts constructed at the Darlington nuclear site in Ontario by 2028 with subsequent units to follow with the first SMR projected to be in service by 2032.
Stream 2: proposes advanced small modular reactors that would be developed in New Brunswick through the construction of demonstration units at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. This type of collaboration would advance these technologies and could start being used within the provinces by 2030 to support industrial needs in areas like Alberta, Saskatchewan, and around the world.
Stream 3: proposes a new class of micro-SMRs designed to replace the use of diesel in mines and remote communities.
A major economic benefit of all three streams is creating employment and economic growth for Canada, as well as opportunities to export and expand technology and expertise to address global issues like energy reliability and climate change.
The provinces will continue to work closely together across the nuclear industry to ensure Canada remains and the forefront of nuclear innovation, either by creating a lower-carbon future or creating new opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The plan is expected to be completed by the spring of 2021.
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