Natural Resources Canada and the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation on civil nuclear energy projects.

The MOU covers a range of fields including uranium exploration and supply; reactor design, construction, operation and decommissioning; alternative fuel cycles that support the safe and proper disposition of legacy material; workforce skills development; and joint R&D projects.

Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources said the agreement will help position Canada’s nuclear industry to capture opportunities in the growing UK nuclear energy market.The UK is hoping to build up to 12 nuclear power stations and 16GW of new nuclear capacity by 2030.

The Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCI), which reprents the supply chain said the agreement is a significant milestone that will broaden and deepen the linkages between the nuclear industries in both countries.

The MOU is expected to provide benefits to a wide array of nuclear industry stakeholders in Canada and the UK, including small and medium-sized enterprises, by facilitating stronger industry-to-industry connections and encouraging collaborative work between laboratories and university research networks.

"We have a shared history of nuclear power development beginning with the development of natural uranium fueled heavy water reactors such as the UK’s Winfrith SGHWR, and this MOU provides a springboard for further cooperation and investment in the reinvigorated UK nuclear sector" said OCI president Dr. Ron Oberth.

The MOU follows through on the commitment for increased cooperation in the field of nuclear energy that was highlighted last year.