SMRs, Hydrogen & The Future of Energy
Port Elgin, Ontario
August 20, 2020
In the global race to reduce the worst impacts of climate change, more and more countries and businesses are aiming to not just reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but to target “net-zero” emissions by 2050. That means reducing the amount of fossil fuels we burn to as close to zero as possible - then finding ways to remove any remaining gases from the atmosphere.
This ambitious goal requires mustering a common purpose in science and technology, entrepreneurship, capital investment and smart public policy like never before.
To engage on this transformative journey, the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) has decided to focus its work on the future of energy in a Centre for Next Generation Nuclear. The Centre will build upon the long-term clean power and economic opportunity offered by the life-extension program at Bruce Power to examine the potential for new energy technologies, such as small modular reactors (SMRs) and hydrogen power as well as cancer-fighting medical isotopes, to lead the way to a healthier future.
The new Centre was announced today, on behalf of the NII, by Founding Members Bruce Power and Cameco, during an online news conference with Premiers Doug Ford of Ontario and Scott Moe of Saskatchewan.
Ontario and Saskatchewan are global leaders in exploring paths to future deployment of hydrogen power and, along with New Brunswick and Alberta, are at the forefront of SMR development in Canada.
“The energy transformation needed to stop the worst effects of climate change demands we explore all potential solutions, and both SMRs and hydrogen show great promise,” said Bruce Wallace, NII’s CEO. “The Centre for Next Generation Nuclear will champion the leading-edge work being done by all our Founding Members on these technologies.”
The Canadian nuclear industry’s robust supply chain primes the sector to lead the economic recovery from the Covid epidemic and lay the foundation for a future of clean energy and good new jobs. The Centre will draw on NII’s network of Founding Members, suppliers and partners to examine the technological and commercial potential of these new designs and energy sources.
It will also advocate for the public policies required to create the pathways to a net-zero future. The Centre will integrate NII policy work already underway through the Green Ribbon Panel, an alliance of Canadian business and environmental groups that is pressing for greater clean electrification of our industry and sectors.
And NII is a member of the Public Policy Forum think tank’s Energy Futures initiative, in which the CEOs of Canadian energy companies, banks and environmental organizations come together to seek common ground on national energy policies.
“The transition to a net-zero world will be a long journey, but our strength in nuclear energy is a Canadian advantage,” Wallace said. “Seizing that opportunity, finding the solutions right here at home by building upon Canadian talent and technologies, is our best route to a better future.”
About the Nuclear Innovation Institute
The Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides a platform to accelerate innovation and the implementation of business relevant solutions for the nuclear industry. NII’s goal is to shape a Canadian nuclear industry that embraces new thinking, new technologies and new lines of business that can drive the global shift to a low-carbon future. Learn more at nii.ca.
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