FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has signed an agreement with the Province of Saskatchewan to further enhance collaboration on the development and deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs).

“New Brunswick has expertise to share from four decades of reliable nuclear operations,” said Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland. “We are committed to playing a leadership role nationally and globally on clean and renewable energy. Nuclear energy is a key resource in the transition to a low-carbon future and our two provinces are well positioned to lead this evolution.”

This new agreement builds on a previous one signed in December of 2019 that committed to New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan working together to advance SMRs in Canada. Alberta joined in April 2021. That co-operation resulted in a strategic plan. A Strategic Plan for the Deployment of Small Modular Reactors highlights how SMRs could provide safe, reliable and zero-emissions energy to power the Canadian economy and create new opportunities to export Canadian knowledge and expertise around the world.

The development of SMRs is part of the province’s clean energy vision. Holland said they have the potential to supply safe and reliable zero-emissions energy for residents and businesses in both provinces and around the world.

The development of the Generation lV first-of-their-kind small modular reactor technologies is also recognized in New Brunswick’s Climate Change Action plan as an important part of achieving net zero electricity emissions by 2035.

“Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have established a strong working relationship on SMR development over the years,” said Don Morgan, minister of Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan. “This renewed partnership will bring mutual benefit to both provinces by capturing opportunities stemming from the work on nuclear energy development across Canada and internationally. Together, we can accelerate the progress of decarbonizing power grids and industrial facilities using SMR technologies.”

Under the strategic plan, New Brunswick is leading Stream 2 development of the Generation IV advanced SMR technology. In addition to the ability to produce safe and reliable clean energy, Generation IV advanced SMRs will also have the capability to generate high-temperature heat which is ideal for the decarbonization of industrial processes as well as the production of hydrogen.

A delegation from Saskatchewan toured the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station last fall to gain a deeper understanding of the requirements for operating in a nuclear environment.

The agreement recognizes that the ARC-100, the advanced small modular reactor from ARC Clean Technology headquartered in Saint John, is a potential technological solution to advance industrial decarbonization in Saskatchewan.

The ARC-100 is a 100 MW sodium-cooled fast reactor that has been selected by NB Power for implementation on their Point Lepreau site. Scheduled for completion within the decade it would be the first grid-scale Generation IV Advanced SMR online in Canada.

Holland said the development and deployment of small modular reactors designed in New Brunswick is a significant opportunity for the province to play a leadership role in helping power the world with clean energy while at the same time growing the economy.