On November 8, 2018
Canada’s Natural Resource Minister, Amarjeet Sohi, announced that the Ministry is about to release a roadmap on how Canada can participate in the development of next-generation nuclear reactors.
- 10 Companies have submitted plans to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for a pre-licensing design review for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)
- SMRs ranging from 1.5 to 300 MW are proposed to replace diesel for remote northern communities and mine sites (Russia already has a submarine-power-like floating reactor they can tow to remote northern communities and produce power immediately)
- Larger advanced reactors are proposed to provide clean electricity and heat for oil sands extraction, and as a more-reliable anchor for less-reliable wind and solar in “energy parks”.
- SMRs can be mass-produced to lower capital cost and can be widely distributed to lower transmission cost.
Ontario Power Generation announced they are teaming up with Oregon-based NuScale Power to bring SMR designs to Canada.
- OPG recently projected a shortage of electricity in Ontario in the early 2020s due to increased population and an increase in electrified public transit and electric vehicles.
- NuScale has $300 million in funding from the US Department of Energy and plans to build a 60 MW reactor in Idaho
- SaskPower and New Brunswick Power are also involved in those discussions
On November 9, 2018k
- A Montana Judge put a hold on the Keystone XL pipeline. The hold will likely be appealed, but it is actually good news because Keystone XL would merely tie Canada more tightly to a single US customer that is currently discounting Canadian oil at $40 per barrel or $36 billion per year (Canada spends $21 billion on National Defence). The KM Trans-Mountain pipeline is much more important than Keystone XL because it would diversify our customer base to China and TPP countries and attract full and fair international prices.
- The Environment Minister of BC said today that BC’s recently announced LNG export plans may be curtailed due to increased emissions from using natural gas turbines to power LNG plants. Once again, the 3-member BC Green Party is holding the BC government hostage on that issue. That problem could also be solved by using small nuclear reactors to power LNG plant sites.
This analogy may help to explain the world’s current energy dilemma –
Suppose that 80 per cent of the world ate potatoes as their only food source. Suppose it was discovered that potatoes should no longer be grown for several good reasons. Suppose it was discovered that bananas were the only viable substitute for potatoes. Obviously, no government could survive cutting off the supply of potatoes until enough bananas could be provided. In this analogy, oil and gas are the potatoes and nuclear, wind, solar and hydro-electric energy are the bananas, in order of year-round global potential.
Canada is the only stable democracy that can supply potatoes (oil and gas) to the world for 100 years. That is why Canada’s oil and gas potential must be developed. Canada is also a leader with a successful track-record in bananas (nuclear technology) and is well positioned to lead in that transition.
Hugh Holland is a retired engineering and manufacturing executive now living in Huntsville, Ontario.
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