The premiers from the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick have announced their commitment to work together on the development of nuclear reactor technology in Canada.
Scott Moe, Doug Ford, and Blaine Higgs made the joint announcement, and also signed a memorandum of understanding, preceding a meeting of the premiers. According to the deal, the provinces will work on the research, development and construction of small modular reactors, in a bid to help the individual provinces to cut down carbon emissions, while transitioning away from non-renewable energy sources including coal.
Small modular nuclear reactors are known for their simple construction, higher safety rates than large reactors, and are widely thought to be much cleaner than coal. In addition, these reactors are usually small enough to fit in an area of a school gym. Natural Resources Canada had released an outline in 2018, with a number of recommendations on the waste management and readiness of small modular reactors.
Global Economic Opportunity worth $150 Billion
Currently, around 12 companies are in a pre-licensing stage of operations, with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which is presently reviewing such designs. According to the Canadian targets set in the Paris Agreement, the country aims to reduce overall emissions by 30 per cent in comparison to the levels of 2005 by 2030.
According to Moe, the reactors will aid Saskatchewan to reduce emissions by 70 per cent by the same date. The three energy ministries of the provinces, will meet the New Year to discussed steps for the future, with a complete strategy to be ready by the fall.
The leaders of the provinces stated that the collaboration could create substantial opportunities in terms of economic growth, with an estimate of $10 billion in the Canadian market, and a $150 billion value on a global scale.
So far, only the three premiers have signed into the deal. However, Ford called on the others to enter, saying: “the more, the merrier.” Most analysts however believe that the project of developing new energy technologies will require aid from the federal government.