Signing on to an SMR vision

Jason Kenney holding up a signed MOU
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney brought Alberta into the SMR MOU fold signing an MOU with Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan for collaboration on SMR development, April 14. Image: Government of Ontario

Alberta joins New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on SMR development timed with the release of a joint SMR feasibility study, validating the value of SMRs to meet sustainability and clean energy priorities.

APRIL 14, 2021 – The premiers of New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on small modular reactor (SMR) development during a virtual ceremony that closed off anticipation of the event since Alberta announced its interest in joining the coalition in late 2020.

The other three provinces first signed a SMR MOU in December 2019.

The event included release of a joint study by Ontario Power Generation (OPG), Bruce Power, New Brunswick Power (NB Power), as well as, SaskPower, which concludes SMRs would have a positive impact in meeting Canada’s clean energy needs, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and would position Canada as a global clean energy technology leader.

“It is important that our provinces take these next steps together to continue leading the development of cutting-edge small modular reactors for the benefit of future generations,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

The SMR Feasibility Study identifies three streams of SMR project proposals for consideration by the governments of Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. The three streams of projects would aim to be ready by the late 2020s and into the early 2030s.

The UNENE Network in Canada’s SMR Action Plan

University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering (UNENE) and our member universities view Canada’s Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Action Plan as an added value to the existing CANDU contribution to clean energy in Canada. UNENE, and several of the universities in its network, contributed chapters to the SMR Action Plan, released by Natural Resources Canada in December 2020. 

Through the fostering of collaboration with our members, UNENE’s participation in the Action Plan provides unique, significant benefits through these and other supporting actions:

  • An essential role in developing young engineers and scientists with SMR capabilities, through educational programs and research experience;
  • A trusted voice that can reach stakeholder communities with objective, expert views; and
  • Nimble, cost-effective early-stage research that paves the way for both national lab, developer and operator understanding.

UNENE represents the collective, collaborative activities of member universities in partnership with its industrial members, funding SMR education, research and outreach, complementing individual university initiatives.

UNENE university members work together on SMR technologies and impacts, partnering with utilities, design companies, national labs, regulators, governments, etc. UNENE is a convening organization that strengthens engagement with industry and cooperation with other parts of the nuclear sector in areas such as SMR development and waste management.

As well, UNENE is reaching out in international cooperation that will apply to SMR developments, on behalf of member universities, including educational exchange with UK universities and international cooperation in educational networks with IAEA and OECD-NEA.

Click here to read about the UNENE and university network’s chapters.

Click here to read today’s full SMR MOU announcement.

Click here to read Feasibility of SMR Development and Deployment in Canada study.