Strategic Innovation Fund investment will help develop cleaner, safer small nuclear reactor technology
October 15, 2020 – Oakville, Ontario
As a global leader in nuclear energy and nuclear safety, Canada is poised to be a leader in the safe and responsible development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology. SMRs are expected to play a key role in Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and in providing economic benefits as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, today announced a $20 million investment that will enable an innovative Ontario technology company to take a critical step toward commercializing its cutting-edge SMR technology, creating significant environmental and economic benefits for Canada.
The investment will help Oakville’s Terrestrial Energy complete a key pre-licensing milestone through the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to assess the acceptability of the Generation IV technology that the company is developing as part of its $68.9 million Integral Molten Salt Reactor project, which will provide affordable energy for utilities and industry.
As part of the investment, the company has committed to creating and maintaining 186 jobs and creating 52 co-op positions nationally.
In addition, Terrestrial is spending at least another $91.5 million in research and development.
Throughout the two and a half year project, Terrestrial will engage with Canada’s world-class nuclear supply chain, potentially creating over a thousand jobs nationally. It will also undertake gender equity and diversity initiatives, including increasing female representation in STEM fields.
This project supports the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan by building a highly skilled workforce and advancing research in new foundational technology—a key component for future economic growth and innovation. It also supports Canada’s SMR Roadmap, which outlines a long-term vision for the development and deployment of this technology in Canada and the world.
SMRs are being designed at a range of scales, with the potential to replace conventional coal and fossil generation and help remote sites move off diesel with a non-emitting source of energy. They also have the potential to create new markets for nuclear energy, such as resource extraction, replace the use of fossil fuels in heavy industrial applications and increase the competitiveness of some of Canada’s most important industrial sectors.