Consulting Engineering Industry Speaks about Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

What are renewal energy sources?  Renewable energy sources are those that will not run out and that supply a continuous source of clean energy. Renewable energy sources are critical to meet the future energy needs of Saskatchewan.  The time to take advantage of technologies that support renewal energy is now.
Diversifying energy sources means the province does not have to rely on just one or two, meaning our province would be able to sustain its power production without relying on other jurisdictions to ensure we have enough power to support the power needs of our population.
It is important to examine all emerging technologies in renewal energy within context. For instance, what types of technologies support considerations such as remote power supply or baseload power? 
Small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) are one of many sources of renewable energy.  So why has the Saskatchewan renewal energy conversation turned to SMRs?
All the components necessary to develop and implement SMR power supply exists locally. It does not make good economic sense to do what we do right now, which is transport uranium ore out of province to be processed and shipped elsewhere in the world, particularly when the international market price for uranium is down.  Some of the richest uranium ore exists in the province.  How do we make it attractive to use here? The greatest opportunity to take advantage of this resource is to develop and implement SMRs right here in Saskatchewan.
Those in the industry suggest a 10-year window to implement SMRS locally is realistic. A solid strategy for our political leaders would be to put in place the technological supports necessary to ensure our province is ready to safely implement SMRs in our province.  
One of the greatest benefits of SMRs is that they are small, which means they can be implemented in most locations around the province, and therefore will act as catalysts for other industries to invest in those locations.  This immediately multiplies the benefits of this technology for Saskatchewan taxpayers. 
It is also positive to see other jurisdictions express interest in Small Modular Nuclear Reactor technology because this lends itself to greater opportunities to partner.  But do not doubt for a moment that having other jurisdictions interested in this technology is also a double-edged sword. Saskatchewan has to be strategic and timely in harnessing this opportunity first.  If we don’t, then someone else will!

October 5, 2020

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