Government of Canada invests in small modular reactor technology to help transition Canada to net zero with cleaner sources of energy

News release

This investment will help create a greener future and support good middle-class jobs

March 17, 2022 – Burlington, Ontario

Canada is a leader in nuclear energy and nuclear safety and has one of the world’s most promising domestic markets for the safe and responsible development of small modular reactor (SMR) technology. SMRs have the potential to provide strong economic benefits to the Canadian economy and support Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced an investment of $27.2 million in Westinghouse Electric Canada Inc. to support its $57 million project so its next-generation SMR, the eVinci micro-reactor, can be successfully licensed in Canada. This technology has the potential to provide a more accessible and transportable source of low-carbon energy.

By investing in this project, the Government of Canada is supporting innovation that will help communities that rely on heavy-polluting diesel fuel to transition to a cleaner source of energy, while creating and maintaining more than 200 well-paying and full-time jobs in Canada’s energy sector.

Westinghouse Electric Canada’s project supports the government’s Innovation and Skills Plan by helping build 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 Action Plan, which outlines a long-term vision for the development and deployment of this technology in Canada and worldwide.

Quotes

“As our government moves swiftly with our green economic recovery, we are laying the foundation for a better and more prosperous climate-oriented future. Westinghouse’s innovative technology will help deliver cleaner energy sources across Canada, especially in remote communities. This investment will play a critical role in fighting climate change, building on Canada’s global leadership in SMRs and securing jobs in Ontario’s energy sector.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Canada must rapidly develop and deploy low-carbon energy technologies in order to meet our environmental and economic objectives. Small modular reactors provide an opportunity to generate non-emitting energy for communities while attracting investments in Canadian businesses and creating jobs for Canadian workers.”
- The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources

“Today's announcement at Westinghouse Electric Canada is great news for Burlington. It is great news for our environment and for our economy. The Government of Canada will continue to invest in innovative climate solutions like SMRs to foster a sustainable economy that works for everyone.”
- The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Member of Parliament for Burlington

“ISED’s Strategic Innovation Fund was created to inspire and drive innovation by providing federal funding for large projects designed to improve Canada's innovation performance while also providing economic and environmental benefits to all Canadians. Westinghouse’s small modular reactor technology could result in a transportable source of clean energy to serve rural and remote communities reliant on diesel. Canada is a global leader in nuclear safety and nuclear energy, a zero-emission clean energy source. Our government is committed to supporting innovators like Westinghouse develop and deliver next-generation solutions to global challenges like climate change to ensure Canada achieves its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.”
- Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North–Burlington

“Westinghouse is proud to be advancing Canada’s net-zero 2050 goals with our eVinci micro-reactor technology. Our innovative battery technology will bring safe, carbon-free and transportable energy to industries and communities all across Canada. With Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s investment, we will be supporting Canada’s SMR Action Plan while creating permanent jobs and leveraging Canada’s world-class supply chain and academic institutions.”
- Eddie Saab, President, Westinghouse Electric Canada

Quick facts

  • Westinghouse Electric Canada is headquartered in Toronto.

  • The Westinghouse family of companies has been a world leader in nuclear reactor technology development since the 1950s, and its technology is the basis for 50% of the reactors operating worldwide.

  • SMRs are being designed for a range of applications, with the potential to replace conventional coal and fossil fuel power generation and help remote sites move off diesel with a non-emitting source of energy.

  • SMRs 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 contribution is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund’s Net Zero Accelerator initiative, a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy. Specifically, this initiative supports Canada’s net-zero goals: transforming the economy for clean and long-term growth and achieving a net-zero economy by 2050.

  • Today’s investment through the Strategic Innovation Fund is the third in SMR technologies, with the government also supporting projects at Terrestrial Energy and Moltex Energy. The three projects total over $220 million.

  • In addition to the Strategic Innovation Fund, there are various programs and services to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada’s economy. Using a simple, story-based user interface, the Business Benefits Finder can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

Associated links

Contacts

Laurie Bouchard
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
laurie.bouchard@ised-isde.gc.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
media@ised-isde.gc.ca

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