Canadian survey reveals solid support for nuclear investment

February 22, 2021, 3:00PMNuclear News

A new survey exploring the attitudes of Canadians toward climate change and their expectations and level of support for government intervention to tackle the issue finds that 86 percent believe that Canada should invest in clean technologies, including renewables and nuclear energy.

The survey, conducted by research and strategy firm Abacus Data between January 29 and February 3, was commissioned by the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA).

CNA says: “It’s clear there is strong support for the government to implement a mix of solutions to address the [climate change] challenge, including investing in renewables and clean nuclear technologies,” stated John Gorman, CNA president and chief executive officer, in a February 18 press release. “We continue to see that the more understanding Canadians have, the more they support zero-emissions nuclear technologies to help reach our net zero 2050 goal. This includes investment in small modular reactors, which Canadians believe bring value to replace carbon-based fuels with clean electricity, decarbonize high-emissions industries, and transition remote communities away from reliance on diesel.”

Survey says: Other key findings related to nuclear energy in Canada include the following:

■ 56 percent state that Canada must increase its reliance on nuclear as a clean energy.

■ 51 per cent believe Canada should invest in the development and production of new nuclear energy technologies to produce new jobs in the sector and sell the technology internationally. (Only 8 percent believe Canada should not invest in nuclear technology and should instead buy the technology internationally.)

■ 63 percent support, or are open to support, government investment in SMRs (16 percent strongly support, 24 percent support, and 23 percent are open to support) when informed that SMRs have the capacity to bring non-emitting electricity and heat production to remote communities and industrial extraction sites, as well as to be added to the larger grid as electricity demand grows. (A further 30 percent would like to learn more before forming an opinion on SMR investment, while only 7 percent oppose government investment.)

■ 65 percent agree that investing in SMRs can help remote communities that are not connected to the electricity grid to transition away from reliance on diesel.

■ 63 percent agree that investing in nuclear technologies can help Canada pursue a green economy and increase the pace of replacing carbon-based fuels with electricity.

■ 60 percent believe nuclear energy can help decarbonize key economic sectors challenged with high emissions, such as the oil and gas, mining, and fertilizer industries.

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