POLICY PAPER: SMRs-Eroding Public Oversight-2021

POLICY PAPER: SMRs-Eroding Public Oversight-2021

Postby Oscar » Mon May 17, 2021 2:15 pm

POLICY PAPER: "Small Modular Reactors in Canada: Eroding Public Oversight" - Chapter 11

[ https://cela.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021 ... actors.pdf ]

by Kerrie Blaise, Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and Shawn-Patrick Stensil, GREENPEACE

January 2021


The civil nuclear power industry has been moribund since prohibitive construction costs and the Chernobyl disaster effectively halted the construction of new reactors in the 1980s.

With many of Canada’s nuclear reactors now approaching the end of their operational lives, the survival of the civil nuclear industry is increasingly viewed as contingent upon the commercialization of so-called ‘Small Modular Reactors’ (SMR).

SMRs are compact nuclear reactor designs, producing from 1 to 300 MW of electricity, with design features promised to overcome the challenges that have historically prevented the expansion of nuclear power.

Canadian SMR proponents argue that due to their small size, SMRs are suitable for providing power for resource extractive and heavy industries, decentralized on-grid generation, and replacing diesel generation in remote communities.

Proponents also portray SMRs as a needed component in a low-carbon society.

Nevertheless, recent events indicate that the success of this technology is contingent upon the lessening of Canada’s environmental and safety requirements, and government shouldering the risks accompanying their development and operation.

This chapter will explore the alleged barriers to SMR development in the context of past failures to commercialize new innovative reactor designs.

It will also consider how industry-based policy and law reform requests undermine public oversight of nuclear safety in Canada and impedes Canada’s transition to sustainable development. . . . .

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