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Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick premiers commit to develop small nuclear reactors

Last Updated Dec 1, 2019 at 11:43 pm EDT

The premiers of Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick held a joint press conference Sunday to announce a deal to use small nuclear reactors as a means to reduce carbon production.

The meeting took place in Mississauga ahead of a meeting of all of Canada’s provincial leaders on Monday.

The premiers signed a memorandum of understanding saying they are committed to collaborating and developing small modular reactors (SMR) which are to generate, clean low cost energy.

The premiers say while they’re looking for options to improve their carbon footprint, they also believe this will also create economic opportunities.

“We know Russia, we know China — they’re playing in this are as well and I think there’s a real opportunity for Canada to be one of the true leaders,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

“The numbers are astounding. According to recent reports, between 2030 and 2040, potential value for SMRs in Canada alone is estimated to be $10 billion. Globally that number is $150 billion,” Ford added.

While Ontario has no coal fired power plants, officials say about 8.6 per cent of Canada’s electricity comes from coal fire, which is not eco-friendly.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs maintained that nuclear technology is an important part of reaching zero carbon emissions.

“If you look at the spectrum of energy and how we’re going to provide and meet the demand in a zero emitting industry, its not going to happen through wind and solar. It has got to be technology like this that is advanced and improved.”

Officials say the hope is to have small nuclear reactors providing energy in about five years.