Canadian and European nuclear industries agree to partnership

28 January 2021

A Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) and Foratom will strengthen the associations' efforts in advancing the development of nuclear energy, its application, and deployment to meet climate change goals. The MoU will see the two organisations work together to support, amongst other things, the development and deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) and advanced reactors.

The signing of the MoU was shared online by the CNA and Foratom

The MoU, which was signed by CNA President and CEO John Gorman and Foratom Director General Yves Desbazeille, addresses the need for greater dialogue and exploration of nuclear's role in effective environmental stewardship, the organisations said.

This includes advocating for more explicit and prominent inclusion of nuclear power in energy and environmental policies, including sustainable finance; support for innovation in nuclear energy, specifically the development and deployment of SMRs and advanced reactors; and implementing initiatives where the two organisations could work together to promote nuclear as a clean source of energy to meet climate change goals, reduce emissions and improve quality of life.

"Nuclear energy already makes important contributions to combating climate change," Gorman said. "This agreement will work to ensuring that nuclear is part of the clean energy mix to meet the climate change challenge on both sides of the Atlantic."

The climate challenge is a global one, Desbazeille said. "This is why it is important that all regions of the world work together to find solutions. Together, we will be able to send a coordinated message to our policymakers with the goal of demonstrating the important role which different nuclear technologies can play."

Deputy Director-General DG Energy in the European Commission Massimo Garribba said the MoU confirmed the "willingness" of CNA and Foratom to help industry collaboration on the safe use of nuclear energy, in particular in the context of decarbonisation priorities, "an issue which the EU is very much committed to".

"We need nuclear to reach net-zero by 2050," Canada's Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O'Regan said. "We are working with our international counterparts to safely expand nuclear technologies, such as SMRs, and meet our climate change goals."

"Knowing how ambitious the EU is being in reaching a 2050 carbon-free Europe, it is clear for us that the solution will only be effective if nuclear is part of the equation," Desbazeille said. "For this, we also believe that it is crucial to have a global approach."

Formal nuclear cooperation between Canada and the European Union dates back to 1959, when Canada signed an agreement for cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy with the European Atomic Energy Community. The new MoU "represents the next chapter in that positive relationship to achieve common goals", Gorman said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News