SaskPower signs on to Canada’s Small Modular Reactor Action Plan

The Government of Canada has released the national Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Action Plan, including a chapter from SaskPower.

The plan outlines the progress and ongoing efforts to develop and deploy SMRs across the country. It includes more than 100 chapters from stakeholders across Canada outlining their plans and actions in support of SMR deployment.

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In its chapter, SaskPower shares its plan to bring forward a recommendation to proceed with SMR planning phase work in 2021. This work would be required to enable deployment of small modular reactors in Saskatchewan in the early to mid-2030’s.

SMR development is a key objective in the province’s 10-year growth plan, with the potential to create a nuclear industry in the province.

“The development of small modular reactors in Saskatchewan provides an exciting and unique opportunity for power generation in our province,” said Don Morgan, Minister responsible for SaskPower.

“SMRs have the potential to provide stable, secure base load power while reducing our emissions.”

Saskatchewan is collaborating with the provinces of Ontario and New Brunswick to develop and deploy SMR technology that will generate electricity free of greenhouse gas emissions and help support economic growth.

SaskPower is also looking at options like interconnections with neighbouring jurisdictions, increased carbon capture and storage technology, renewables and other low or zero emission power sources.

“SaskPower is evaluating the full range of power sources to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and continue to provide reliable, cost-effective power to our customers,” said Mike Marsh, SaskPower president and CEO. “We are looking forward to working with and learning from other utilities across Canada like Ontario Power Generation as they advance their first-of-its-kind SMR project.”

If the recommendation to begin the SMR planning phases receives all necessary approvals, the eight-year planning phase would include:

• SMR site and technology selection;

• Preparation, submission and approval of a licence to prepare a site from the Canadian

Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC);

• Preparation of a licence to construct an SMR from the CNSC

• Development, submission and approval of a federal impact assessment

• Extensive Indigenous, stakeholder and public engagement

This planning phase work is expected to take approximately eight years and is required to maintain SMRs as a possible long-term generation option for Saskatchewan.

SaskPower is working closely with the Ministry of Environment’s SMR Unit which is responsible for co-ordinating government-wide SMR policy, regulatory approaches, financing options, and public engagement to ensure the long-term success of this initiative.

The SMR Action Plan includes chapters from over 100 organizations, including provinces, territories, municipalities, industry, EPC firms, vendors, academia and Indigenous organizations. The plan can be viewed at smractionplan.ca.

 

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