A Greener Future for Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan — Canada is on a mission to tackle climate change and create a cleaner, greener future. To do this, we’re ramping up efforts to use more Small Modular Reactors that don’t harm the environment.
This means finding new ways to power our homes, businesses, and industries without releasing harmful emissions.
One exciting way to do this is by using advanced nuclear technology, like small modular reactors (SMRs), which are like tiny power plants that can help make our energy sources cleaner and more reliable.
Boosting Canada’s Clean Power
In an important announcement, the Government of Canada is providing up to $74 million to support the development of SMRs in Saskatchewan, led by SaskPower.
These funds will help with planning, studies, assessments, and engaging with Indigenous and local communities.
SaskPower is considering using a technology called GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 for its SMRs, which could be in action by the mid-2030s if all goes according to plan.
Big Money for a Green Idea
This funding is part of a bigger effort to boost cleaner energy projects across Canada. The Electricity Predevelopment Program, which has up to $250 million, is helping projects like inter-provincial electricity transmission and SMRs. But the money for this project is waiting for SaskPower and the government to finalize their agreement.
Dollars for a Better Planet
Another source of funding, the Future Electricity Fund, is giving over $24 million to Saskatchewan. This money comes from pollution pricing and is meant to support clean energy projects, energy-efficient technologies, and more, all aimed at helping Canada become emissions-free by 2050.
Cleaner Air and More Jobs
Going green doesn’t just help the environment—it also has big benefits for people’s health. When we switch to cleaner energy, we reduce harmful air pollutants that come from burning things like natural gas and coal.
This means cleaner air to breathe and healthier lives for all. In fact, air pollution contributes to diseases and early deaths in Canada and around the world. Switching to clean energy could save lives and money.
For instance, in 2015, air pollution from power plants caused about 150 premature deaths in Canada, costing around $1.2 billion every year.
Looking Ahead to a Green Tomorrow
SaskPower is charting ambitious plans for its inaugural SMR, with hopes of commencing construction as early as 2030 and achieving operational status by 2034. If all proceeds according to plan, the potential for more SMRs to come online in 2034 holds promise.
A study conducted in 2020 offered valuable insights, estimating that should Saskatchewan embark on developing 1,200 MW of nuclear power through SMRs, it could give rise to approximately 1,700 fresh job opportunities within the province.
This projection sets the stage for a remarkable economic surge, potentially injecting a staggering $8.8 billion into our economy, generating $5.6 billion in wages, and yielding an impressive $2.9 billion in tax revenue over the forthcoming 60 years.
More Green Investments
This isn’t the only effort to make Canada greener. The government has been investing in different clean energy projects in Saskatchewan:
- In 2022, $300 million was given to the Wah-ila-toos partnership, helping Indigenous, rural, and remote communities.
- In 2022, almost $10 million supported clean energy projects for Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan.
- In 2023, the Future Electricity Fund returned $174 million from pollution pricing to help with projects like new smart meters, better electricity systems in rural areas, and improving hydroelectric stations.
- In 2023, a $50-million investment went to the Bekevar Wind Power Project, partnering with the Cowessess First Nation.
- There’s also been over $7 million invested in Indigenous clean energy projects in Saskatchewan and $18.5 million for the Indigenous-led Awasis Solar Project.
A Place of Innovation
Today’s significant announcement originated from the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan.
Established in 2011, this center is dedicated to propelling nuclear research, development, and training into the future. It plays a pivotal role in advancing Canada’s plan for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and ushering in a greener future by making our energy sources cleaner and more sustainable.