IEA to Canadian government: Step up support for nuclear

January 18, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

The International Energy Agency’s newly published in-depth review of Canada’s energy policies, the first since 2015, urges the nation’s government to take more action in support of nuclear energy.

The 261-page report, Canada 2022 Energy Policy Review, released on January 13, features a 17-page section devoted to nuclear that includes four specific recommendations for Canada’s federal government:

  • Assess the long-term contribution that the existing CANDU nuclear fleet and nuclear new builds (small modular reactors, in particular) could play in reaching Canada’s net-zero-by-2050 climate goal.
  • Offer timely support for ongoing SMR projects under discussion at the provincial level. A key priority should be to ensure that the required policy reforms are in place to allow for the licensing and construction of the first demonstration projects expected in the late 2020s.
  • Foster international collaboration, notably for international licensing of innovative SMR technologies and for CANDU international prospects, while leveraging its experience in nuclear technologies and first-mover advantage in SMRs.
  • Support the Nuclear Waste Management Organization in its mandate to select a site for a deep geological repository by 2023, while continuing strong community engagement and stakeholder involvement.

Positive reaction: “The Canadian Nuclear Association welcomes the recommendations of the International Energy Agency in its latest energy policy review of Canada, in particular its clear and direct support for the key role of nuclear power in reducing carbon emissions in Canada and bringing energy and climate solutions to the world,” said John Gorman, CNA’s president and chief executive officer. “The review recognizes that nuclear power generation remains a significant contributor to Canada’s electricity supply being among the cleanest in the world."

Gorman added, “The Canadian nuclear industry is on track to deliver on the promise of SMRs to reduce carbon emissions, meet demand for industrial heat, and deliver power to remote communities. However, fully realizing this potential will require the cooperation of the federal government to ensure that policy reforms are in place to allow SMR demonstration projects to be delivered on time in the late 2020s.”

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