SMRs: SK Gvt. White Paper - 2016 - Excerpt

SMRs: SK Gvt. White Paper - 2016 - Excerpt

Postby Oscar » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:25 am

SMRs: CLIMATE CHANGE White paper – SK Government - 2016 - EXCERPT: Pages 39 and 40

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Nuclear is an essential part of the world’s future energy mix. About 11 percent of world energy production comes from uranium.
The uranium produced in Saskatchewan results in the avoidance of an estimated 375 Mt of carbon emissions annually.71 Since Saskatchewan’s total emissions are 75 Mt, that avoidance alone is equal to four times our total annual emissions production. The carbon avoided by using Saskatchewan uranium would equal about half of all of Canada’s 750 Mt of carbon emissions annually.
Canadian nuclear regulators need to be prepared for innovation. They need to make sure emerging technologies are safe, without stifling innovation.

“Advanced nuclear companies are being developed and funded because innovators see a chance to improve energy generation and investors see profit in creating an answer to the global energy paradox. Right now there are 1.3 billion people in the world without access to reliable electricity, but the climate crisis means they simply must not get it from dirty sources. Advanced reactors can provide scalable, affordable electricity without carbon emissions.”72

Recommendation 7:

Saskatchewan calls on the federal government to take a leading role in a program to develop a small reactor that could be deployable in Canada and all over the world. We endorse the call by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for comments on regulatory strategies, approaches and challenges connected with development of this new and emerging technology, and urges these opportunities be acted upon expeditiously.

As the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) notes in a recent news release:
“Over the past several years, many technology developers have expressed interest in the construction of SMRs (small modular reactors) in Canada. Consequently, the CNSC has been looking into the nuclear regulatory and licensing implications and challenges for SMR-related activities. The CNSC has met with technology developers and conducted outreach with the public and academic institutions at conferences.”73

Other nuclear industry observers have noted the need for regulatory consistency and a push to encourage innovation.
“The technical limitations of renewable energy, coupled with the need for rapid decarbonization of our energy system to combat climate change, requires a strong, consistent voice for other, even more radically innovative carbon reducing technologies.
Wrongly, these technologies have largely been forgotten in what is too often a simplistic debate between those who are either for or against renewable energy. Technologies like conventional and advanced nuclear energy carbon capture and storage, waste to energy generation and innovative biomass cannot be left behind to pursue a vision of an energy system powered only by solar panels and wind turbines.”74“Renewables are improving, and their share of the grid can and must go up—hopefully reaching a substantial share of capacity. But we must also aggressively pursue other low-carbon sources that can bring large quantities of base-load power to the grid in the right places and in cost-effective ways.”75

Sweden has an ambitious plan to have a 100 percent clean electricity system by 2040. This plan includes a robust nuclear component. The plan has widespread political support from Social Democrats, Green Party representatives and Christian Democrats.

A framework agreement for the plan allows for the construction of ten new nuclear reactors at existing sites, replacing plants as they retire. Utilities that run these Swedish reactors must adhere to strict safety requirements, including the establishment of independent core cooling. In June, Sweden’s political parties agreed to eliminate a production tax on nuclear power introduced in 1984. This will allow utilities more flexibility and predictability when investing in new technology.76

Recommendation 8:

Saskatchewan calls on the federal government to introduce a nuclear regulatory regime that recognizes the potential of transformational change in reactor technology—one that recognizes the contribution nuclear power can make to clean power generation in Canada and around the world.

The Government of Saskatchewan applauds Canada’s recent decision to include nuclear energy under its definition of clean energy research and development investments. The announcement was made by Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources at the inaugural Mission Innovation Ministerial meeting in San Francisco on June 2, 2016.

Canada signed on to Mission Innovation in Paris on November 30, 2015. It is a global partnership, aimed at doubling investments made by governments in clean energy innovation over the next five years.

Another part of Mission Innovation is a partnership with 20 private sector investors, who have agreed to provide their financial support for clean energy technologies.77

The inclusion of nuclear energy in this endeavour is a significant step in the right direction.

70 Natural Resources Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and a long list of industry associations sponsor the Canadian Industrial Energy End-use Data and Analysis Centre (CIEEDAC). The site is hosted at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. Information for this report was obtained from CIEEDAC’s latest report, dated March 2016. CIEEDAC also maintains a public database on cogeneration within Canada, available at: .
71 Saskatchewan’s Ministry of the Economy.
72 “Unleashing Innovation: A comparison of regulatory approval processes,” pg. 1, at:
73 CNSC News Release, May 31, 2016 re: Discussion Paper 16-04.
74 “The Climate Challenge: Can renewables really do it alone?” pg. 2, available at: , and “Clear Thinking Needed,” The Economist, November 26, 2015.
75 “The Climate Challenge: Can renewables really do it alone?” pg. 11.
76 “Sweden Abolishes Nuclear Tax,” World Nuclear News, June 10, 2016.
77 “Canada’s Participation in Mission Innovation,” news release, Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, November 30, 2015.

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