Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that the world’s small modular reactor (SMR) community gathered in Ottawa for the first International Generation IV and Small Reactor Conference (G4SR). The event was a three-day conference that served as a global forum on the future of nuclear energy. Co-hosted by CNL and the Canadian Nuclear Society (CNS).
G4SR explored topics critical to the design, development and deployment of next-generation nuclear reactors, bringing together technical and non-technical industry experts for meaningful discussions relevant to Canada and the world.
With momentum and interest in SMRs growing within Canada and internationally, the G4SR conference came at an exciting time in the pursuit of new and innovative clean energy technologies. The next generation of advanced reactors and SMRs holds the promise of low-carbon energy for Canada, can be deployed in off-grid locations and features applications beyond electricity production, including desalination, hydrogen production, local area heating and process heat.
Many people also see small modular reactor technology as a key enabler to the continued expansion of renewable energy sources, providing the necessary baseload energy for intermittent sources such as solar or wind.
“With the recent report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announcing that urgent changes are needed to prevent the worst effects of climate change, it’s more important than ever that we come together to advance clean energy technologies,” commented Mark Lesinski, CNL’s President and CEO. “I’m happy to report that Canada has made strong progress in the pursuit of SMR technology in recent years, which is reflected in the growth of the G4SR conference, an event that has evolved from a technical meeting into an international conference that explores matters of public policy and all areas of deployment.”
In addition to the engaging workshops, plenary sessions and technical program, G4SR will also serve as the venue for the release of the SMR Roadmap. Convened in 2017, the roadmap represents the culmination of a ten-month program of engagement with the nuclear industry, as well as potential willing end-users that include Northern and Indigenous communities and resource industry stakeholders, exploring a national path forward for these new nuclear technologies.
“There are still a lot of important questions that need to be answered as we work towards the deployment of SMRs here in Canada and around the world, around topics that include prototype testing, manufacturing, economic benefits, social licence challenges, integration with renewables, and long-term waste management,” commented Kathy McCarthy, CNL’s Vice-President of Research and Development. “It is our hope that this conference will facilitate these much-needed conversations, so we can continue to build momentum in the pursuit of these clean energy technologies.”
CNL has identified SMRs as one of seven strategic initiatives it is pursuing as part of its Long-Term Strategy, with the goal of siting an SMR on one of the sites it manages by 2026. Building on more than 60 years of experience in the development, deployment and support of nuclear technologies, CNL is now working to position itself as a global leader in SMR prototype testing and technology development support.
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.
With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.