REGINA - Money is coming from the province to prepare for small nuclear reactor development for Saskatchewan.
Crown Investments Corporation is providing $479,000 to Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Suppliers Association and its partners. According to the province’s news release, the funding is going to prepare local companies for future participation in provincial, national and global small modular reactor development.
SIMSA is a nonprofit organization representing more than 300 Saskatchewan-based suppliers of the industrial, mining and energy sectors.
This is a two year agreement, which the province states will support an SMR supply chain specialist position with SIMSA; it will also help engage First Nations Power Authority for its help in exploring Indigenous economic opportunities. This will also allow Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries to deliver the Ready4SMR program, which will develop local suppliers including Indigenous-owned companies.
The province says it is advancing development of zero-emission SMRs as part of Saskatchewan's Growth Plan's 30 Goals for 2030. In June 2022, SaskPower announced selection of GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 SMR as preferred technology for initial grid-scale deployment in Saskatchewan, which is the same model selected by Ontario Power Corporation for their Darlington New Nuclear Project.
The government has stated that it is looking at the Estevan area or the Elbow area for the initial location of the SMRs.
"Programming and resources made available through this funding are crucial to moving toward building a nuclear industry in Saskatchewan," Minister of Crown Investments Corporation Don Morgan said in a statement. "Our province has a long successful history of nuclear research and development, and we are a world-class supplier of high-quality uranium ore. Advancing Saskatchewan's SMR supply chains will unlock economic and job potential for communities near and far, including our rural, northern and remote regions, and Indigenous communities."
"SIMSA is excited to work with CIC to build additional resources to enhance the development of qualified nuclear manufacturing and construction companies in our province," said Eric Anderson, executive director of SIMSA in a statement. "One crucial component of this work is the recruitment of an SMR supply chain specialist. The specialist has outstanding nuclear and supply chain experience and knows the current market elements. This position will be an invaluable asset to advance SMR development in Saskatchewan."
"We are proud to partner with CIC, SIMSA and OCNI to advance economic reconciliation with Indigenous owned businesses," said Guy Lonechild, president and CEO, First Nations Power Authority, in a statement. "FNPA will establish a new database to build nuclear capacity and track certifications both provincially and nationally."
"The Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries is proud to be working in Saskatchewan with SIMSA and FNPA to implement our Ready4SMR program," said Bill Walker, their president and CEO, in a statement. "We'd also like to acknowledge and thank the Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan for their contribution in making this project possible. Canada is leading the world in the deployment of small modular reactors and we're excited to see Saskatchewan planning for SMRs as part of their clean energy mix. Our role is to build a pan-Canadian supply chain that gives provinces like Saskatchewan an opportunity for economic development as your already thriving supplier base considers joining the Canadian nuclear industry."