SMRs: (2019) SK continues to look at nuclear power

SMRs: (2019) SK continues to look at nuclear power

Postby Oscar » Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:56 pm

Saskatchewan continues to look at nuclear power

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Emma Graney, Regina Leader-Post 11.10.2015 | ​

SaskPower hasn’t ruled out a nuclear powered Saskatchewan, even if it’s not in the Crown corporation’s immediate plans.

President Mike Marsh says SaskPower is looking at nuclear “through a technology lens right now,” to figure out if it can fit reliably into Saskatchewan’s electricity supply system.

Marsh is well aware nuclear power is, politically speaking, a controversial topic.

The province has been going through the nuclear debate “off and on for the past 20 years,” he says, and it’s “not a political debate (SaskPower is) going to get into.”

Take 2009, in which a government-appointed panel recommended the province pursue nuclear power. Later that same year, the Perrins Report based on public consultations found “significant opposition to nuclear power generation” in Saskatchewan. Then, in December 2009, the government announced it would not pursue a plan to have a nuclear power plant up and running in the province by 2020.

Premier Brad Wall also talked nuclear in November 2012, particularly small modular reactors, which he noted could have “potential applications” in small communities.

The public might have concerns about nuclear energy, but it has never been ruled out as an option for the Saskatchewan.

A summer 2013 briefing note from SaskPower, for instance, notes that the small reactors provide “a flexible, cost-effective alternative to larger-scale nuclear reactors.”

“As directed by the provincial government,” it reads, “SaskPower is evaluating the potential for nuclear power” from those small modular reactors.

Marsh says it’s important for SaskPower to “keep abreast of the technology.”

After all, “Maybe next year there’s going to be a huge breakthrough in the technology that the world will rally around, and if we weren’t looking at it, we’d be accused of having our head in the sand.”

To his knowledge, small modular reactors “still haven’t been commercially developed or deployed,” and SaskPower is “nowhere near” using such technology unless it’s “proven.”

“We’ve done a lot of firsts in Saskatchewan — certainly our carbon capture facility was a first — but I do not believe we’d be anywhere close to making any kind of decision on nuclear if it were to be the first of its kind,” he said.

Environment critic Cathy Sproule says she wouldn’t be surprised if SaskPower is looking into the technology, but the expense of a nuclear project, and the environmental issues, are concerning.

= = = =

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY DALE DEWAR FOR THE WYNYARD ADVANCE IN 2015 . . . . Date of publication has been requested . . . .

Would you buy a car that has no track record and is made by a company that has never delivered either on time or within budget? Brad Wall is interested in spending tax dollars on Small Modular Reactors.

Small Modular Reactors (SMR) are not reality. “Small” refers to the amount of power generated, not the size of the reactor. “Modular” means that the reactor is assembled from factory-fabricated parts or “modules” which are assembled on site.

World Nuclear Association's web site seems to imply that the science is sound and – but, “in January 2014, Westinghouse announced that it was suspending could not justify the economics of its SMR without government subsidies.”

Problems are multitude. They need water for coolant, lots of it. They release the heated water back into rivers or lakes. They must have a minimum base load electricity demand to work – they don't power up or down in response to needs. The accident record is a meltdown every seven years. There is no waste management. Every nuclear power plant requires security, high security. Of all the means by which electricity can be produced, nuclear power is the most expensive.

Is nuclear power green? When all of the input, after-put and waste management is taken into account, nuclear power is decidedly not “green”. Does it have less impact upon the environment than dirty coal? The people around Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island don't think so.

Premier Brad Wall in Saskatchewan has been sold a bill of goods -

- by Dale Dewar Wynyard Advance 2015
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Re: SMRs: (2015) SK continues to look at nuclear power

Postby Oscar » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:52 pm

Small Modular Reactors: Energy Opportunities and Regulatory Views

[ ... 24_SvR.pdf ]

Moderated by Dr. Jeremy Rayner, Director, JSGS, University of Saskatchewan campus

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are part of a new generation of nuclear power plant designs whose benefits include less
on-site construction, increased containment efficiency and the ability to have greater quality controls. Saskatchewan, with
its comparatively small population base, is not ideal for a conventional reactor that can produce upwards of 1000 megawatts
of power. However, an SMR that produces anywhere from 10 to 300 megawatts could be a good fit for Saskatchewan’s
energy needs. What is the future outlook for SMRs in Saskatchewan, what are the potential regulatory challenges and how
is Canada’s nuclear regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, going to address them?

Public Lecture Series: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 | 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Please note: This panel will take place in Saskatoon and will be video-conferenced to a Regina audience.
Saskatoon Location: Prairie Room, Diefenbaker Building, 101 Diefenbaker Place, University of Saskatchewan Campus
Regina Location: Room 210, 2 Research Drive, University of Regina Campus
Registration: Those interested in attending are encouraged to register online at
(please select News and Events, then Events Calendar and the appropriate calendar date) or by clicking the link above.

Click to Register
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Re: SMRs: (2015) SK continues to look at nuclear power

Postby Oscar » Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:15 am

Small reactors could be 'game-changer' for Saskatchewan: SaskPower VP

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SaskPower has no plans to build a nuclear power plant within the next decade, but small modular reactors could be a "game-changer" for the province over the long term, according to the provincial Crown Corporation's vice president of transmission.


SaskPower has no plans to build a nuclear power plant within the next decade, but small modular reactors (SMRs) could be a “game-changer” for the province in the long term, according to the Crown corporation’s vice president of transmission.

“(It is) something we’re looking at,” Tim Eckel said in an address to the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce’s annual general meeting, held Thursday morning in Saskatoon.

Traditional nuclear power plants have a generating capacity of at least 600 megawatts (MW), which makes them unsuitable for Saskatchewan’s comparatively small electric grid, which currently has a maximum capacity of 4,400 MW, Eckel said.

If a nuclear plant responsible for producing a sizable portion of the province’s power went off-line, the demand for electricity could suddenly outstrip supply, leading to problems, he said.

“(Traditional plants) are too large for our system.”

However, SMRs with a generating capacity of between 300 and 400 MW — slightly smaller than SaskPower’s big coal- and natural gas-fired plants — would likely make sense in Saskatchewan, Eckel added.

In a 2008 feasibility study, Bruce Power Limited Partnership, which operates a nuclear plant northwest of Toronto, said Saskatchewan will likely require at least 1,000 MW of nuclear generation capacity by 2020.

A plant north of Saskatoon would likely cost between $8 and $10 billion, but contribute $240 million annually to the provincial economy and create 1,000 permanent jobs over its 60-year lifespan, the study said.

A 2014 study conducted at the University of Saskatchewan found that 50.3 per cent of Saskatchewan residents had a positive impression of nuclear power generation, while 22.9 per cent had a negative impression and 18.5 per cent reported no opinion on the subject.

Currently, about 25 per cent of the province’s power comes from clean sources. SaskPower said late last year that it plans to double that figure by 2030 using a mix of wind, solar and hydroelectric sources, while boosting its total capacity to about 7,000 MW.

“To build a nuclear plant would take likely a decade … That alone would push it more than a decade away (and) the technology for SaskPower isn’t in place yet,” Eckel said.

In its simplest form, a nuclear power plant works by using the nuclear reaction in its core to heat a closed loop of pressurized coolant. The coolant — usually water — produces steam, which drives a turbine that produces electricity.

Several companies in the United States, China and other countries are developing SMRs. Some use molten metal or salt as coolant, but most are scaled-down versions of conventional pressurized water plants.

While multiple countries have operating small nuclear reactors, the most advanced modular designs are under development in China with startup expected in 2017, according to the World Nuclear Association.

Although SMRs have a lengthy development cycle, they also have considerable advantages over large plants used to power dense population centres, according to the executive director of the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation. (Neil Alexander)

“The key thing about these new units is they will have this high degree of modularity, which allows them to better fit from that economics (point of view),” Neil Alexander said.

Whereas most major nuclear plants are one-offs, factory-built reactors benefit from economies of scale and repetition, leading to reduced costs, Alexander said. The introduction of carbon pricing would likely make the plants even more attractive, he added.

“Our experience is, (nuclear plants) turn out to be the cheapest form of electricity generation other than coal … But nobody’s going to buy one if it doesn’t make economic sense to do so,” Alexander said.

Eckel said SaskPower expects half of the province’s electricity will come from coal and natural gas by 2030. Alexander said he thinks it’s unlikely the province will continue building new fossil fuel plants, so “they need to find alternatives.”

“One opportunity for these small modular reactors is the 300 MW plant that would replace our existing coal-fired plants and go onto the grid as a relatively cheap replacement to coal that is non-greenhouse-gas emitting,” he said.

“The other is that the much smaller plants could be pretty much off-grid applications, serving a particular site or a community.”

Nuclear power comes with challenges including decommissioning, the management of spent fuel and the comparatively high capital costs, as well as the “remote risk” of a major accident, according to Peter Prebble, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society’s environmental policy director.

While nuclear power is cleaner than the coal- and gas-fired plants currently operating in Saskatchewan, it is a non-renewable resource and therefore incompatible with the “renewable future” being built around the world, Prebble said.

“It’s something that needs to be re-evaluated every decade, but we think right now that we’ve got much better alternatives … and that is large-scale investment not just in wind, but in all the renewables.”
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Re: SMRs: (2015) SK continues to look at nuclear power

Postby Oscar » Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:20 am

COMMENT: Gunter Maier November 28, 2019 Star Phoenix

Small modular reactors are:

- (1) a waste of money.
- (2) They do NOT exist anywhere - there is a wide variety of different DESIGNS - but not one actually working - worldwide.
- (3) They are economically not feasible and not interesting - that is why there is NO demand for them, as a former CEO of Westinghouse (formerly a big builder of nuclear power plants) stated.
- (4) "inherently safe" reactors have been promised by the nuclear industry repeatedly - but the industry did not deliver what it had promised. So why should anyone believe that things would be different with SMRs?
- (5) Renewable energies are by now COMPETITIVE, even against EXISTING power plants; putting money into nuclear is an absolute WASTE.
- (6) The nuclear industry is desperate about its future (and so is the uranium industry), and thus tries to convince GOVERNMENTS to make POLITICAL decisions for nuclear power - since on the free market, nuclear power does not stand a chance (only when subsidized heavily ...) against renewables.

Most of the things voiced in the article are PROMISES - and some are just propaganda - of the industry, with NO proof, NO SMR is anywhere fulfilling all these things in reality.

"An obituary for small modular reactors Small modular reactors are being heavily promoted but the economics don't stack up" by Jim Green, The Ecologist, March 11 2019
[ ... r-reactors ]

"Are Thousands of New Nuclear Generators in Canada’s Future?"
[ ... da-Future/ ]

"The World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR) 2019" deals extensively with SMRs: page 19 and pages 200 - 209
The WNISR can be downloaded FREE here:
[ ... 2019-.html ]
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Re: SMRs: (2019) SK continues to look at nuclear power

Postby Oscar » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:36 am

Three premiers plan to fight climate change by investing in small nuclear reactors

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The Canadian Press November 30, 2019

TORONTO - Three of Canada's premiers will announce Sunday a plan to fight climate change by working together on small nuclear reactors, a company that's developing the technology said Saturday.

New Brunswick-based ARC Nuclear Canada said in a news release that its president will attend a signing ceremony Sunday between the provinces of New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan to work in collaboration on the modular reactors "in an effort to mitigate the effects of climate change."

The Ontario government said Premier Doug Ford will meet with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs for an announcement at a hotel near Pearson International Airport on Sunday afternoon.

A spokesman with Moe's office confirmed the announcement is connected to an agreement on technology for small modular reactors, while a spokeswoman for Ford's office said it's an agreement to work together to determine the best technologies for the deployment of small modular reactors in Canada.

Moe said earlier this month that nuclear power has to be deployed in a big way around the world to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, noting his province is well positioned to support more nuclear power with its large reserves of high-grade uranium ore.

All three of the premiers are opponents of the federally mandated carbon tax.
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