Canada Outlines Next Steps for Progress on Small Modular Reactor Technology  

News release

December 18, 2020                                         Ottawa, Ontario                                    Natural Resources Canada                   

Small modular reactors (SMRs) represent a promising new non-emitting technology that has the potential to produce reliable electricity in Canada, supporting our country’s transition to net-zero emissions by 2050. Building on 78 years of nuclear expertise, Canada is poised to be a global leader in the safe and responsible development of SMRs.

That’s why today, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, released a national SMR Action Plan, which responds to the 53 recommendations identified in Canada’s SMR Roadmap that was launched in November 2018.

Canada’s SMR Action Plan seeks to advance the safe and responsible development and deployment of SMRs through a pan-Canadian approach in partnership with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous peoples, organized labour, utilities, industry, innovators, academia and civil society.

The SMR Action Plan provides concrete actions for the Government of Canada to:

  • ensure robust policy, regulatory and legislative frameworks are in place to protect people and the environment;
  • accelerate innovation;
  • continue meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities and all Canadians; and
  • develop international partnerships and open up new markets.

Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, underlines that SMRs have the potential to reduce emissions, decarbonize heavy industry and spur economic development. SMRs represent a new field of innovation with designs that are smaller and less expensive and are a potential tool to reduce emissions within Canada and abroad by replacing the use of coal and other emitting fuels like diesel.

With a long history of science and technology innovation, a world-class regulator of safety and responsibility and a vibrant domestic supply chain, Canada is well positioned to capture a share of an emerging global market for SMR technology that is expected to exceed $150–300 billion by 2040. Canadian leadership on SMRs could create thousands of good, middle-class jobs across Canada.


“Canada’s SMR Action Plan is the pan-Canadian result of the collective efforts of governments, Indigenous partners, labour, industry and civil society. Canada can be a world leader in this promising, innovative, zero-emissions energy technology, and this is our plan to position ourselves in an emerging global market.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources 

“Building on Canada’s nuclear expertise, we are working collaboratively with provincial and territorial leaders to develop SMRs to meet emissions targets while creating economic opportunities for Canadians post-pandemic.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

“The SMR Action Plan strengthens Canada’s position as a leader in the development of innovative, zero-emissions nuclear technologies. Small modular reactors are the great enabler of other, clean energy sources. They are uniquely equipped to work alongside renewables to help decarbonize key regions and industries that are challenged to meet emission reduction goals.”

John Gorman
President and CEO, Canadian Nuclear Association

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations


Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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