Canada Outlines Next Steps for Progress on Small Modular Reactor Technology

December 18, 2020

Small modular reactors (SMRs) represent a promising new non-emitting technology that has the potential to produce reliable electricity in Canada, supporting our country’s transition to net-zero emissions by 2050. Building on 78 years of nuclear expertise, Canada is poised to be a global leader in the safe and responsible development of SMRs.

That’s why today, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, released a national SMR Action Plan, which responds to the 53 recommendations identified in Canada’s SMR Roadmap that was launched in November 2018.

Canada’s SMR Action Plan seeks to advance the safe and responsible development and deployment of SMRs through a pan-Canadian approach in partnership with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous peoples, organized labour, utilities, industry, innovators, academia and civil society.

The SMR Action Plan provides concrete actions for the Government of Canada to:

  • ensure robust policy, regulatory and legislative frameworks are in place to protect people and the environment;
  • accelerate innovation;
  • continue meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities and all Canadians; and
  • develop international partnerships and open up new markets.

Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, underlines that SMRs have the potential to reduce emissions, decarbonize heavy industry and spur economic development. SMRs represent a new field of innovation with designs that are smaller and less expensive and are a potential tool to reduce emissions within Canada and abroad by replacing the use of coal and other emitting fuels like diesel.

With a long history of science and technology innovation, a world-class regulator of safety and responsibility and a vibrant domestic supply chain, Canada is well positioned to capture a share of an emerging global market for SMR technology that is expected to exceed $150–300 billion by 2040. Canadian leadership on SMRs could create thousands of good, middle-class jobs across Canada.

“Canada’s SMR Action Plan is the pan-Canadian result of the collective efforts of governments, Indigenous partners, labour, industry and civil society,” said The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.  “Canada can be a world leader in this promising, innovative, zero-emissions energy technology, and this is our plan to position ourselves in an emerging global market.”

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