36th Annual CNS Conference - 2016 June 19-22

Presented at:
36th Annual CNS Conference
2016 June 19-22
Toronto, Canada
Session Title:
Plenary 3B: Nuclear Opportunities, International

J. Tang (BWXT Canada Ltd.)


There has been a rapidly-growing international interest in smaller, simpler reactors for generating electricity and process heat. Interest in a new generation of advanced small modular reactor (SMR) technology has been driven by many factors, including the desire to reduce capital costs, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to replace retiring fossil plants that do not meet today’s environmental standards, and to provide reliable power in ‘off-grid’ or ‘edge-of-grid’ locations. This new generation of low-carbon, GHG-free advanced reactors can be used in remote communities and resource extraction industries to supply safe, reliable and economical energy generation that can help mitigate climate change and help stimulate economic growth.

Introduction of these advanced small reactors, particularly in Canada’s resource-rich remote northern regions, will raise issues in a wide variety of technical, institutional, socio-economic, and regulatory policy areas. The Emissions-Free Energy Working Group (EFEWG) has been established as a technology-neutral, small-reactor industry-wide organization to identify and prioritize the high-level issues that need to be addressed and work with the CNSC and other interested stakeholders to agree on a resolution acceptable to all parties.

By working together as one entity, the industry has an opportunity through the EFWG to influence the development of high-level regulatory policy and the associated regulatory framework and documents as they apply to small reactors in Canada. This will benefit the industry by reaching issue resolutions that are applied uniformly across the SMR industry and by distributing their development costs across the industry.

The vision of the EFEWG is a flourishing small reactor industry in Canada within the next 25 years. The approach it is taking is to identify barriers to realizing this vision and to identify measures that can be taken to reduce or transcend those barriers. It will communicate its findings to other stakeholders and will collaborate with them to implement these measures.

The philosophy of the EFEWG is to work openly and transparently with regulatory authorities and other stakeholders to ensure that small reactors meet all legitimate public requirements and concerns, with a view to realizing this industry’s potential to benefit Canada while maintaining or improving nuclear safety.

Among its many activities, the EFEWG has cooperated with the CNSC to hold workshops for provincial and federal government stakeholders on very small reactors in remote northern regions; has prepared a report on the legal and regulatory issues for deployment of factory fuelled and sealed SMRs across international waters from one country to another; and is now conducting a Canadian deployment study for transport of factory fuelled SMRs from one provincial jurisdiction to another.

The Emissions-Free Energy Working Group looks forward to continuing its work on behalf of the small-reactor industry and its stakeholders.

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