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Research council to take lead in microreactor development

Focus on safety, sustainability as sector becomes established.
"The goal is to safely accelerate the commercial adoption of microreactors within the province over the next five to 10 years, positioning Saskatchewan as a global leader in the nuclear microreactor supply chain." - Minister Responsible for SRC Jeremy Harrison

REGINA — The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) will now serve as the primary organization responsible for micro-small modular reactor (microreactor) development in the province.

The SRC will also be the sole organization authorized to hold the regulatory licences and be the licensed operator of microreactors in the province, while the sector is in the early stages of commercial development, according to Sask. Trade and Export Development.

This SRC will now provide full life cycle, integrated services, on a commercial basis to industry and communities looking to establish microreactor operations to support their business and economic development. The SRC process will be designed to reduce the risks and costs for industrial and community users, says Trade and Export Development, while providing consistency in: safety practices, reactor operations, licensing and public engagement for all microreactor users within the province.

In November 2023, the Government of Saskatchewan announced $80 million in funding for SRC to pursue the demonstration of a microreactor in Saskatchewan. SRC will apply the research and knowledge gained from the licensing and deployment of an initial microreactor to support the Saskatchewan nuclear industry to better understand this type of technology and the potential for future microreactor projects in the province. 

"What we learn through the initial microreactor demonstration will help SRC provide a one-stop-shop for industrial companies and Indigenous communities looking to progress microreactor projects in the province, from early feasibility to full reactor operation," SRC President and CEO Mike Crabtree said. "Microreactors will provide a custom solution as part of Saskatchewan's future energy needs and this sector has the opportunity to be transformative for our economy, industry and communities."