Secretariat set up for Saskatchewan SMR deployment

25 June 2020

The government of Saskatchewan has announced the establishment of an office to help in the planning and development of small modular reactors (SMR) in the Canadian province. It said the new office will "coordinate nuclear policy and programme work" within the Climate Change and Adaptation Division in the Ministry of Environment.

The flag of Saskatchewan (Image: Pixabay)

Saskatchewan's roadmap for growth, published last November, included goals to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation and to develop SMR technology with the possibility of a first operational SMR in the province by the middle of the 2030s.

"The development and execution of a strategic plan for deployment of clean energy small modular reactors will be the primary mandate of the Nuclear Secretariat," the government said yesterday.

"The deployment of small modular reactors in Saskatchewan will require collaboration with several partners to fully encompass the benefits Saskatchewan could see in way of jobs, enhanced value-chains for Saskatchewan's uranium, and our made-in-Saskatchewan climate policy," said Environment Minister Dustin Duncan. "Clean nuclear energy will provide Saskatchewan the tools to fight climate change. The advancement of small modular reactors in Canada brings economic and environmental benefits with new clean technology that is also safe, reliable and competitively priced power."

In early December, the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan agreed to collaborate on the development and deployment of SMRs in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Under the non-binding MoU, the three parties committed to work co-operatively to: advance the development and deployment of SMRs to address the needs of their provinces with regards to addressing climate change, regional energy demand, economic development and research and innovation opportunities; and address key issues for SMR deployment including technological readiness, regulatory frameworks, economics and financing, nuclear waste management and public and Indigenous engagement.

Ontario-based Canadian Nuclear Laboratories in April 2018 launched an invitation for SMR project proponents to evaluate the construction and operation of a demonstration unit at one of its sites. Canada's federal Department of Natural Resources in November 2018 issued a roadmap for the development of SMRs in the country. The government of New Brunswick is supporting the development of a nuclear research and development cluster in the province.

"Broader collaboration with the government of Saskatchewan will facilitate opportunities within the province for financing, regulation, labour capacity, public engagement and economic growth," the Saskatchewan government said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News