Released on April 17, 2023
The governments of Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to enhance cooperation on the development of small modular reactor (SMR) technologies in both provinces.
The MOU provides the ability for the two provinces and their utility Crowns, SaskPower and New Brunswick Power, to formally share experiences, knowledge and successes on deployment plans, supply chain development, Indigenous relations, labour market development, regulations and other areas.
"Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have established a strong working relationship on SMR development over the years," Saskatchewan Crown Investments Corporation Minister Don Morgan said. "This renewed partnership will bring mutual benefits to both provinces by capturing opportunities stemming from the work on nuclear energy development across Canada and internationally. Together, we can accelerate the progress of decarbonizing power grids and industrial facilities using SMR technologies."
New Brunswick plays a leading role in Canada for Generation 4 advanced SMR development. This technology can be beneficial to Saskatchewan while the province explores industrial decarbonization.
"New Brunswick has expertise to share from four decades of reliable nuclear operations," New Brunswick Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development Mike Holland said. "We are committed to playing a leadership role nationally and globally on clean and renewable energy. Nuclear energy is a key resource in the transition to a low-carbon future and our two provinces are well positioned to lead this evolution."
In December 2019, Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan signed an inter-provincial MOU to work together to advance SMRs in Canada (effective from December 2019 to June 2021), with Alberta also joining the MOU in April 2021. Through this work, participating provinces released a joint strategic plan in March 2022 outlining the path forward on the development of SMRs.
- SMRs are scalable and versatile nuclear reactors that typically produce 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity or less. They can support large established grids, small grids, remote off-grid communities and resource projects.
- A 300 MW SMR could generate enough clean electricity each year to power 300,000 homes.
- SMRs can provide stable baseload clean energy to complement renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
- In June 2022, SaskPower announced the selection of the GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 SMR as the preferred technology for initial grid-scale deployment in Saskatchewan - the same model Ontario Power Generation selected in December 2021 for their Darlington New Nuclear Project. SaskPower's selection of the same technology helps enable a pan-Canadian, fleet-based approach to grid-scale SMR deployment.
- Advanced SMRs can offer a source of both clean electricity and heat energy (co-generation) for clean fuel production such as hydrogen for residential applications and heavy transport, ammonia, and synthetic fuels for transportation, as well as for heavy industry such as chemical, cement, steel, aluminum, mining, desalination and oil sands.
- Micro (off-grid) SMRs can be used to displace diesel generation used in mining in remote areas, and heat and electricity generation in northern remote communities.
For more information, contact:
Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development