Three Canadian premiers announced their plan to explore new technology in nuclear power generation as a way to fight climate change.
On Sunday, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the development and deployment of nuclear reactors, also known as Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), in Canada.
“Many people may be thinking, why nuclear, why now? If you look at the spectrum of energy and how we’re going to provide and meet the demands of a zero emitting industry, it’s not going to happen through wind and solar,” Higgs said. “It’s got to be through technology like this that is advanced and approved.”
Within the next decade, the three provinces will evaluate, plan and commercialize the further development of SMR technology.
The three premiers, who are opponents of the federally mandated carbon tax, favour investing in technology over taxes to flight climate change.
“We believe we can do this without unnecessary taxes that burden families, businesses; taxes that really do little in actually reducing emissions directly,” Moe said.
The Saskatchewan premier said Canada’s responsibility to address climate change also comes with a responsibility to protect the economy by keeping sustainable industries competitive.
SMRs have the potential to provide energy from non-emitting sources for generating electricity for both heavy industries and remote communities.
“This technology can bring great benefits to the people of our provinces, and our country,” Ford said. “SMR can generate clean, cost-effective and reliable energy for both on-grid and off-grid generation.”
In 2018, New Brunswick signed an agreement with two nuclear companies to explore the development, licensing and construction of an SMR.
The Government of Canada is also exploring SMR technology. According to the federal government, Canada’s nuclear industry is positioned to capture a share of the market which is estimated to reach $150 billion per year by 2040.
“Together, our province can achieve a bigger and bolder objective and see the opportunity to play a very major role in the development and deployment of SMR tech in our nation,” said Moe.
“And in doing so, Canadians working together, like we are here today, from coast to coast to coast, can play an even larger role in addressing climate change across Canada and throughout the world.”