Canada to invest in nuclear energy
Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has reached a deal with a major generating company to provide $970 million to fund the construction of the country’s first small modular reactor (SMR). The announcement was made by Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson on Tuesday.
“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,” Wilkinson said about the deal, as cited by Reuters.
Canada intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, and views SMR technology as a key part of this aim.
The funding for the project will come in the form of a low-interest loan from the CIB, which will go toward the preparatory work, including project design and site preparation, Wilkinson added.
The reactor itself will be designed by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and is expected to supply electricity to about 300,000 homes, according to Ontario Power Generation, the recipient of the loan for the project. It says it expects the project to be completed by 2030, while site preparation will start later this year.
SMRs are nuclear reactors that are smaller than traditional nuclear power plants. Unlike the latter, SMRs can be constructed in factories and then transported to be assembled on a site about the size of two soccer fields.
The size of these reactors does not reduce their efficiency, however. Each SMR is reportedly capable of producing enough energy to power about one million homes – the same as produced by 150 onshore wind turbines.
According to the World Nuclear Association, 15% of Canada’s energy currently comes from nuclear power plants.
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