Research & Development

Canada / Ottawa Announces Further Backing For SMR Deployment With Millions In Funding For R&D Projects

By David Dalton
27 February 2023

Focus will be on waste management and development of supply chains

Ottawa Announces Further Backing For SMR Deployment With Millions In Funding For R&D Projects
The government says Canadians need to look to all forms of clean energy, including nuclear. Courtesy Government of Canada.

Canada is offering up to CAD5m ($3.6m, €3.4m) to fund research and development projects that support provinces and territories as they work to develop and deploy small modular reactors as part of their decarbonisation and economic development plans.

The government, which has already announced tax credit and budget support for reactors projects, said it is aiming to support funding applicants in their efforts to address waste generated from SMRs and develop supply chains for SMR manufacturing and SMR fuel supply.

Waste management projects could include identifying and characterising waste streams; researching waste management solutions; understanding the long-term safety requirements for waste storage and disposal; and exploring packaging and transportation requirements.

Supply chain projects could include developing techniques for SMR construction; economic analysis of nuclear and non-nuclear supply chains; and the economic impact and understanding policies related to fuel fabrication and or enrichment in Canada.

The funding programme aims to support the use of SMRs to displace fossil fuels and contribute to climate change mitigation.

It will provide up to 75% of the total project costs. The average funding for a project is likely to be between CAD500,000 and CAD2.5m. Funding is available for projects until 31 March 2027.

Canada Needs ‘All Forms Of Energy’

The government said Canadians need to look to all forms of clean energy in order to meet net-zero goals and it has committed to working with the provinces and territories to enable deployment of SMRs.

It said it had demonstrated its continued support for SMRs in its 2022 budget, which included nearly CAD120m for Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to support activities related to SMR development such as nuclear waste reduction, building SMR regulatory capacity and creating a fuel supply chain.

Canada has a fleet of 19 large-scale nuclear power plants that provide about 14% of its electricity generation.

In November 2022 the government introduced a tax credit that confirmed it considers nuclear power to be “clean energy” on par with all other low-carbon technologies, including renewables.

Four provinces have published a strategic plan for the deployment of SMRs, calling for the federal government to back ambitious deployment plans and a new class of Generation IV micro-SMR for remote communities and mines.

In December 2022 site preparation began for Canada’s first SMR at Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington nuclear site.

Earlier this year US-based reactor developer X-energy announced investment from South Korea-based multinationals DL E&C and Doosan Enerbility in a private round of financing to support the advancement of the global deployment of its Xe-100 Generation IV advanced SMR.

Utility SaskPower has chosen two sites in Saskatchewan for the potential construction of an SMR.

Pen Use this content