Canada’s Parliamentary Secretary Kim Rudd, on behalf of the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, on 22 February announced a road mapping process under the Energy Innovation Program to explore the potential for on- and off-grid applications for small modular reactor (SMR) technology in Canada. “The next generation in nuclear technology will help Canadians build a cleaner, safer world while meeting our energy needs in a low-carbon economy,” Natural Resources Canada (NRC) said in a press release.
The exercise, driven by interested provincial and territorial governments and energy utilities, will be delivered by the Canadian Nuclear Association. It will engage stakeholders to better understand their views on priorities and challenges related to the possible development and deployment of SMRs in Canada.
Participation in the roadmap will eventually expand to include all essential enabling partners, including manufacturers, research performers, waste management organisations and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
“A pan-Canadian approach to developing an SMR Technology Roadmap will provide valuable information as we continue to work toward our shared goals of developing a resilient low-carbon economy,” said New Brunswick Minister of Energy and Resource Development Rick Doucet. Bruno Pereira, President of Qulliq Energy Corporation, noted: “Establishing a pathway for the implementation of SMRs is an important national issue with particular significance for remote communities that are interested in exploring alternative energy options.”
The roadmap will build on existing groundwork to foster innovation and establish a long-term vision for the nuclear industry, as well as to assess the characteristics of different SMR technologies and how they align with user-requirements and Canadian priorities. It will be an important step in positioning Canada to advance next-generation technologies and become a global leader in the emerging SMR market, NRC said. “Through Generation Energy, we heard that Canadians want a pan-Canadian approach on nuclear energy that would help guide important decisions on emerging technologies, such as SMRs.” The roadmap is expected to be completed in autumn 2018.