The Saskatchewan provincial government, along with the governments of Ontario, New Brunswick and Alberta, has announced a strategic plan outlining a path towards the use of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), which it hopes can advance SaskPower’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Currently, 76 per cent of electricity in Saskatchewan is generated by fossil fuels, according to the province. “Saskatchewan will not make a final decision on whether it will be building an SMR for several years but SaskPower has been working diligently on planning work to help inform that decision,” SaskPower Minister Don Morgan said at a Monday morning press conference.
“SMR technology has the potential to help our economy grow and prosper while contributing to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” While in its very early stages, the plan suggests Saskatchewan could be producing as much as 1200 megawatts (MW) of nuclear power by the year 2042, with an initial 300 MW reactor under construction by 2030 and operational by 2034.
Possible locations of where the reactors would operate have yet to be identified by the province. During the conference it was noted that a small reactor would cost around $5 billion, and so the energy ministers are looking into different ways of generating funding for the initiative.
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