OTTAWA (June 29, 2018) – This week, the federal government’s Generation Energy Council released its report on Canada’s energy transition to a low-carbon economy. While the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) agrees with the report’s view that decarbonization is critical, the CNA believes the role of nuclear was overlooked.
“The Council’s report does not mention the role nuclear can play in helping Canada meet its emissions goals set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement,” said CNA President and CEO John Barrett. “Nuclear has already played an important role in decarbonization in Ontario, where it represents over 60 per cent of the province’s electricity generation. Thanks to nuclear energy, Ontario has eliminated its reliance on coal-fired electrical generation.”
Nuclear will continue to play a role in helping Canada meet its target in the future with the CANDU-reactor refurbishment program now under way at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station and at Bruce Power’s site in Kincardine. This $26 billion program, which will replace major components and refurbish 10 reactors, is the single largest clean-energy investment by any jurisdiction in the Western hemisphere.
The Council did not reference the comprehensive Trottier Energy Futures Project of the Canadian Academy of Engineering that lays out in stark terms the magnitude of the challenge of decarbonization and concludes that to meet the government’s GHG targets for 2050 will require a massive increase in electrification of energy supply through a diverse set of low carbon technologies, including nuclear.
“An effective and realistic approach is to foster collaboration that makes the best use of all available solutions to create a low-carbon future, allowing Canada to meet emission targets while avoiding the impacts of climate change,” Dr. Barrett added.
Another potential future for nuclear reactors is making them smaller. Small modular reactors (SMRs) could be constructed that would bring almost unlimited clean heat and electricity to small communities that currently rely on diesel fuel.
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 the daily life of Canadians.
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