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Canadian and European nuclear industries partner to promote clean energy and new nuclear

January 27, 2021

Ottawa/Brussels (January 27, 2021) – The Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) and the European Atomic Forum (FORATOM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in nuclear and promote clean, innovative and advanced nuclear technologies.

This agreement will strengthen both associations’ efforts in advancing nuclear energy’s development, application, and deployment to meet climate change goals.

“We are excited to sign this Memorandum of Understanding with FORATOM,” said CNA President and CEO John Gorman. “Nuclear energy already makes important contributions to combating climate change. This agreement will work to ensuring that nuclear is part of the clean energy mix to meet the climate change challenge on both sides of the Atlantic”

“Climate change is a global challenge” adds Yves Desbazeille, Director General of FORATOM. “This is why it is important that all regions of the world work together to find solutions. Together, we will be able to send a coordinated message to our policymakers with the goal of demonstrating the important role which different nuclear technologies can play”.

Massimo Garribba, Deputy Director-General DG Energy in the European Commission says: “We welcome the Memorandum of Understanding signed between FORATOM and the CNA. This confirms their willingness to foster industry to industry collaboration on the safe use of nuclear energy, in particular in the context of decarbonisation priorities – an issue which the EU is very much committed to”

“We need nuclear to reach net-zero by 2050,” says the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “We are working with our international counterparts to safely expand nuclear technologies, such as SMRs, and meet our climate change goals.”

Canadian-European nuclear cooperation goes back decades. Canadian CANDU reactors have been in service in Romania for nearly 30 years. At the same time, European companies have provided components to the Canadian nuclear sector and are recognised internationally for the technology know-how. The development of new and innovative nuclear technologies, such as SMR’s, is expected to further enhance cooperation between Europe and Canada.

The MOU addresses the need for greater dialogue and exploration of nuclear’s role in effective environmental stewardship. It includes:

  • advocating for more explicit and prominent inclusion of nuclear energy in Europe and Canada’s energy and environmental policies, including sustainable finance (taxonomy);
  • support for innovation in nuclear energy, specifically the development and deployment of small modular reactors and advanced reactors;
  • identify and implement initiatives where FORATOM and CNA could work together to promote nuclear as a clean energy source to meet climate change goals, reduce emissions and improve the quality of life.

Canada is home to 19 nuclear power reactors, which produce clean, reliable electricity, representing 15 per cent of the country’s total electricity. Every year in Canada, nuclear energy avoids 80 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by displacing fossil fuels; supports 76,000 direct and indirect jobs; and contributes $17 billion in gross domestic product.

Nuclear power generates around 26 per cent of the European Union’s electricity in 13 countries with 107 reactors (which go up to 141 if we include all FORATOM members non-EU Switzerland, UK and Ukraine) that provide 50% of low carbon electricity. The industry supports over one million jobs (direct, indirect and induced) across the continent with a turnover of €100 billion a year. 

You can read the MOU here.

About the CNA

Since 1960, the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) has been the national voice of the Canadian nuclear industry. Working alongside our members and all communities of interest, the CNA promotes the industry nationally and internationally, works with governments on policies affecting the sector and works to increase awareness and understanding of the value nuclear technology brings to the environment, economy and daily lives of Canadians.


FORATOM is the Brussels-based trade association for the nuclear industry in Europe. It acts as the voice of the European nuclear industry in policy discussions with EU institutions and other key stakeholders. The membership of FORATOM is made up of 15 national nuclear associations active across Europe and the companies that they represent, and four corporate members, the Czech energy company, CEZ, Fermi Energia in Estonia, NUVIA in France and the Polish energy company, PGE EJ 1. More than 3,000 companies are represented, supporting around 1,100,000 jobs.

For more information:
Witold Strzelecki
Communications Manager
+32 2 505 32 25

Media Contact

Christopher Gully
Vice President, Communications & Member Engagement
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