Government of Canada invests in research and technology to create jobs and produce non-emitting energy
Support for small modular reactor research and technology development in New Brunswick to help produce non-emitting energy and reduce storage of nuclear waste
March 18, 2021 – Saint John, New Brunswick
Canada is poised to be a global leader in the safe and responsible development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology. SMRs, as a non-emitting source of energy, have the potential to support the global fight against climate change and provide economic benefits as Canada transitions to a clean growth economy.
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), today announced an investment of $50.5 million in Moltex Energy Canada Inc., provided through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) and the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.
This contribution will help Moltex develop a Stable Salt Reactor – Wasteburner (SSR-W) that will produce emissions-free energy through the WAste To Stable Salts (WATSS) process that recycles existing used nuclear fuel to produce non-emitting energy. This technology has the potential to reduce storage needs for existing used nuclear fuel and could lead the way in establishing a first-of-its-kind, world-class non-emitting-energy system for Canada and the world.
In addition, Minister LeBlanc also announced the following investments through ACOA:
- $4,999,568 to help NB Power Corporation prepare the site at its Point Lepreau location for SMR deployment and demonstration; and
- $561,750 to help the University of New Brunswick’s Centre for Nuclear Energy Research expand its capacity to support SMR technology development in New Brunswick.
These projects support 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. They also support Canada’s SMR Action Plan, which outlines a long-term vision for the development and deployment of this technology in Canada and the world.
“The Government of Canada supports the use of this innovative technology to help deliver lower-emitting energy sources and build on Canada’s global leadership in small nuclear reactors. As we continue to protect Canadians and support them through the COVID-19 pandemic, we must also lay the foundation for a better-prepared, healthier and more prosperous Canada. The investments announced today have the potential to play a critical role in fighting climate change and will boost Canada’s economic stabilization after the pandemic.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Today’s announcement demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to fight climate change and grow a strong economy. By investing in an SMR technology cluster in New Brunswick, we are proud to support emerging technology with great potential to generate economic opportunities for Canada and the world.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
“The future of energy in Atlantic Canada is carbon-free. Today’s investment to develop innovative SMR technology in New Brunswick will support the deployment of the Atlantic Loop, help us build a more resilient economy and bring us closer to our climate goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.”
- The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Member of Parliament for Beauséjour
“SMRs are a potentially game-changing technology that can lower emissions, create jobs and increase our competitiveness. This supports workers in New Brunswick and strengthens Canada’s position in developing nuclear technology.”
- The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources
“We are extremely grateful to the federal government for its support of our project to design and commercialize an innovative nuclear reactor and nuclear waste recycling facility. We are one step closer to providing clean, reliable and affordable energy to the province of New Brunswick, while growing the economy and creating high-value jobs. This investment will support economic recovery and help Canada meet its net-zero emissions and waste minimization goals.”
- Rory O'Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer, North America, Moltex Energy
“The best way to ensure that Canada, specifically New Brunswick, becomes a leader in advanced small modular reactor development is through continued engagement and partnerships. Two years ago, we signed a memorandum of understanding with Ontario and Saskatchewan, committing to collaborate on the development of SMRs, right here in Canada. By investing in SMRs, not only are we supporting the development of local expertise but we are also helping to create a critical mass to attract the best talent, which will enable other companies in our province to grow. I am confident this technology could help us create a more prosperous and sustainable tomorrow for future generations.”
- The Honourable Blaine Higgs, Premier of New Brunswick
Moltex is receiving $47.5 million through SIF and $3 million through REGI.
As part of the SIF investment, the company has committed to creating and maintaining 48 full-time jobs.
SMRs offer a clean energy alternative to conventional coal and fossil fuel power generation, with the potential to reduce the use of diesel fuel in remote sites and increase the competitiveness of Canada’s key industrial sectors.
The SMR technology being developed by New Brunswick-based Moltex Energy Canada Inc. is grid-connected and can produce 300 MW of electricity. It seeks to generate emissions-free energy through a process that recycles existing used nuclear fuel, potentially offsetting up to 2.1 million tonnes of greenhouse gases.
REGI supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.
In addition to SIF, there are various programs and services to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada’s economy. With its simple, story-based user interface, the Business Benefits Finder can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Office of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Senior Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, New Brunswick
Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA
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