Government of Canada invests in innovative small modular reactor technology

News release

Strategic Innovation Fund investment will help develop cleaner, safer small nuclear reactor technology

October 15, 2020 – Oakville, Ontario

As a global leader in nuclear energy and nuclear safety, Canada is poised to be a leader in the safe and responsible development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology. SMRs are expected to play a key role in Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and in providing economic benefits as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, today announced a $20 million investment that will enable an innovative Ontario technology company to take a critical step toward commercializing its cutting-edge SMR technology, creating significant environmental and economic benefits for Canada.

The investment will help Oakville’s Terrestrial Energy complete a key pre-licensing milestone through the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to assess the acceptability of the Generation IV technology that the company is developing as part of its $68.9 million Integral Molten Salt Reactor project, which will provide affordable energy for utilities and industry.

As part of the investment, the company has committed to creating and maintaining 186 jobs and creating 52 co-op positions nationally.

In addition, Terrestrial is spending at least another $91.5 million in research and development.  

Throughout the two and a half year project, Terrestrial will engage with Canada’s world-class nuclear supply chain, potentially creating over a thousand jobs nationally. It will also undertake gender equity and diversity initiatives, including increasing female representation in STEM fields. 

This project supports the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan by building a highly skilled workforce and advancing research in new foundational technology—a key component for future economic growth and innovation. It also supports Canada’s SMR Roadmap, which outlines a long-term vision for the development and deployment of this technology in Canada and the world.

SMRs are being designed at a range of scales, with the potential to replace conventional coal and fossil generation and help remote sites move off diesel with a non-emitting source of energy. They also have the potential to create new markets for nuclear energy, such as resource extraction, replace the use of fossil fuels in heavy industrial applications and increase the competitiveness of some of Canada’s most important industrial sectors. 


“The Government of Canada supports the use of this innovative technology to help deliver cleaner energy sources and build on Canada’s global leadership in SMRs. By helping to bring these small reactors to market, we are supporting significant environmental and economic benefits, including generating energy with reduced emissions, highly skilled job creation and Canadian intellectual property development.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“SMRs are a game-changing technology with the potential to play a critical role in fighting climate change and rebuilding our post COVID-19 economy.”
– The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources

“The Government of Canada is progressing with clear purpose to national deployment of SMRs, and it recognizes the great industrial and environmental rewards from nuclear innovation today. We thank ministers Bains and O’Regan for their vision, leadership and partnership as we advance our program to deliver affordable and cost-competitive nuclear energy to Canadian industry and households using Generation IV reactor innovation.”
– Simon Irish, Chief Executive Officer, Terrestrial Energy

Quick facts

  • Terrestrial Energy is a Canadian industry-leading Generation IV nuclear technology company committed to delivering reliable, safe, emission-free and cost-competitive energy with a truly innovative advanced reactor design of the Generation IV class. 

  • The contribution is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy.

  • In addition to the Strategic Innovation Fund, there are hundreds of programs and services to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada’s economy. With its simple, story-based user interface, the Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

Associated links


John Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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