Canada Pledges $970 Million to Nuclear Energy

Canada will provide $970 million CAD in financing to develop a grid-scale small modular reactor (SMR). The new nuclear technology is a key part of Canada’s plan to reduce carbon emissions and can be used for a range of applications from grid-scale electricity generation to use in industry and remote communities.

The project is being developed by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in Darlington, Ontario. This will be the first commercial grid-scale SMR in the G7 group of nations, according to Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.

The Bruce Site in Ontario, Canada

The funding is offered as low-interest debt from the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s (CIB) pool dedicated to clean power investments and will be applied to preparation work required prior to nuclear construction (e.g., project design, site preparation etc.).

Canada receives about 15% of its energy from nuclear power, with 19 reactors mostly in Ontario. Together, the generate about 13.6 GWe of power capacity.  The country is a leader in nuclear research and technology, exporting reactor systems developed in Canada as well as  a higher proportion of the world supply of radioisotopes used in medical diagnosis and cancer therapy.

Canada had plans to expand its nuclear capacity by building two more new reactors, but these have been deferred.

Wilkinson commented on the financing move:

“We are doing this because nuclear energy – as a non-emitting source of energy – is critical to the achievement of Canada’s and the world’s climate goals. Nuclear power is one source that can help in reaching our climate targets while addressing growing future demand.”

According to the Government of Canada, their nuclear industry is set to become a leader in the SMR market, estimated to be at $150 billion a year by 2040. Canada has had an action plan put together surrounding SMRs since 2020 and is engaging with potential stakeholders in nuclear opportunities including Indigenous Metis and Inuit groups along the countries’ North, Albertan and Saskatchewan regions.

Canada has a short-term goal of cutting emissions 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030. OPG anticipates the SMR project to be completed by 2030 and said that road building on the site would start this year. The reactors are designed by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, an alliance between General Electric Co. (GE.N) and Japan’s Hitachi Ltd., and could power approximately 300,000 homes after completion.


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