Canada approves funding for SMRs in Saskatchewan

23 August 2023


The Government of Canada is continuing to support the development and deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) to help Saskatchewan and other provinces increase their ability to deliver clean, reliable and affordable power. The Minister of Energy & Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, during a visit to Saskatoon, announced that the Government had approved up to CAD74m ($54.6m) in federal funding for SMR development in Saskatchewan, led by SaskPower. This will support pre-engineering work and technical studies, environmental assessments, regulatory studies and community and Indigenous engagement. SaskPower has selected the GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 for potential deployment in Saskatchewan in the mid-2030s, subject to a decision to build that is expected in 2029.

The Government of Canada has committed over CAD40bn in new federal measures to help provinces and has announced over CAD50m to date to support a variety of projects in Saskatchewan specifically.

The shift to a non-emitting, affordable and reliable electricity grid across Canada by 2035 is a nation-building project that requires significant investments, thoughtful regulations and our fullest collaboration. Today's announcement brings us one step closer to achieving a clean electricity system for the benefit of all Canadians. With a thoughtful, comprehensive and collaborative approach, we can ensure that every region of Canada thrives in the global race to fight climate change and seizes the economic opportunities of a low-carbon future.

“With today's announcement, we are investing in the future of nuclear technology, building on Canada's decades-long legacy as a responsible global leader in nuclear power, and leveraging Saskatchewan's world-leading production of uranium to position the province to thrive in a rapidly decarbonizing global economy,” said Wilkinson.

John Gorman, President & CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association, said the funding “serves as a strong indication from the government that Canada is at the forefront of global innovation and implementation of small modular reactors."

Up to CAD50m for this project has been committed to SaskPower from NRCan's Electricity Predevelopment Programme. Additionally, over CAD24m has been committed to the Government of Saskatchewan from Environment & Climate Change Canada's (ECCC) Future Electricity Fund. SaskPower anticipates construction of its first SMR could begin by 2030, with a targeted in-service date of 2034.


Image: Rendering of a GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 plant (courtesy of GEH)



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