Monthly Archives: February 2019

CNA2019

Olympian Waneek Horn-Miller to deliver Friday breakfast keynote at CNA2019

On Friday, March 1, at 7:30 a.m. CNA2019 will present its breakfast keynote speaker Waneek Horn-Miller.

Horn Miller is an Olympian, activist, and speaker on Indigenous health and reconciliation.

In 2000, she became the first Mohawk woman from Canada to ever compete in the Olympic games, co-captaining Team Canada’s women’s water polo team at the Sydney games.

After her retirement as an athlete, she has gone on to help others achieve in sports and lead healthy, balanced lifestyles.

She was Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games. She is also the host of Working It Out Together—a 13-part documentary and healthy-eating initiative with the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network, which aims to build “an Indigenous movement of positive change” and “features dynamic leaders in health advocacy and courageous men and women who are figuring out what it takes to be well and to thrive.”

She will speak about indigenous reconciliation and finding common ground through dialogue.

In this keynote, Horn-Miller unpacks the hard but necessary work ahead of us if we want to escape our history of conflict and move to a place of shared understanding. If we embrace the true spirit of reconciliation, we need to make it a way of life—a cornerstone of how we proceed as a multicultural society—and not just a destination.

To Horn-Miller, this takes listening, and dialogue; it means extending empathy to those with different outlooks, and not shying away from debate; it means solutions-based thinking rooted in our shared aspirations. But if we can do this, we can do something unique in this country. And we can embrace what reconciliation is all about—a way of addressing wrongs, living in harmony, and healing for those who need it most.

For more information about CNA2019 visit https://cna.ca/cna2019/.

CNA2019

New nuclear politics and policies panel at CNA2019

Top to bottom: Dale Eisler, Edward Greenspon, Ingrid Thompson

On Thursday, February 28, at 4:15 p.m., Dale Eisler, Edward Greenspon, and Ingrid Thompson take the stage at CNA2019 to discuss new nuclear politics and policies.

Awareness is growing of the many power and non-power benefits of nuclear technology. Taken together, these cover a wide range of national interests. How should we be looking at New Nuclear from a strategic perspective? What does the evolving technology imply for state-to-state relations, national security, technology leadership, and commercial success?

Dale Eisler is the Senior Advisor, Government Relations at the  University of Regina. He has an extensive background in the federal public service and Canadian journalism. After a 25-year career in journalism with Saskatchewan and national publications, Dale spent 15 years in various senior roles with the Government of Canada, most recently as Assistant Deputy Minister for the Energy Security Task Force at Natural Resources Canada.

Edward Greenspon is President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum. He has worked at the intersection of journalism and public policy for more than 30 years. Before joining the Public Policy Forum, Ed was a journalist with The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg News and newspapers in Western Canada. He is also the author of two books on Canadian politics, policy and public opinion.

Ingrid Thompson, is the former President and CEO of Pollution Probe. Ingrid joined the Pollution Probe team in October 2016. Prior to this, Ingrid spent a decade consulting in Europe for a number of organizations, helping them to plan and navigate change and transformation programs. In her early career, Ingrid served as senior advisor for various officials in the Ontario government, taking lead roles on key files such as the launch of Drive Clean, an overhaul of Ontario air quality standards, the Walkerton e-Coli water contamination tragedy, and the initial development of the Northern Ontario medical school.

For more information about CNA2019 visit https://cna.ca/cna2019/.

CNA2019

Top scoring student entries for CNA2019

Every year, the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) sponsors 100 college and university students to attend its annual conference and trade show. Part of the application process involves answering a question about the future of nuclear technology in 100 words or less. The CNA reads and scores all of the entries, and the students who score the highest secure an all-expenses-paid spot.

Below are the top scoring entries.

Describe a ‘new nuclear’ project you think will change the future and outline the changes it will bring?

By Peria Yaghi, McMaster University

With the rise in nuclear power since the 1950’s, it has become a steadily increasing power source around the world. A new nuclear project that I think would change the future would be the floating nuclear power station which was first created in Russia in 2007. A floating nuclear power plant is a group of nuclear reactors at sea that provide electricity to remote areas (E.g. Northern regions). These floating nuclear power plants can be mass produced and put in different parts of cities and towns in need of power. The capacity of these floating plants is enough to serve cities and their needs. The benefit to using these is that they eliminate the need for burning coal and fossil fuels, which helps climate change issues. Another interesting point about these reactors is that it could be used as desalination plants, which produces fresh water. These are all important and valuable pros in the energy system sector because climate change and lack of water are two issues we will face in the future. This project should be looked at more closely to see how this could further benefit the future of our planet.

By Mr. Liam Dow, McMaster University

I am excited by the latest developments in small module reactors (SMRs). Specifically, the integrated molten salt reactor (IMSR) developed by Terrestrial Energy. I believe that molten salt reactors will find great success in the coming years due to a few reasons. First, I believe that the safety features MSRs offer could not only decrease the risk of accidents, but also improve public perception of how safe nuclear is as an energy source. One of the safeguards that is easily understood without any background in nuclear technology is the “Freeze plug” that simply melts in the event of overheating allowing for automatic cooling and containment without room for human or mechanical error. I also think that the ability to create SMRs will open nuclear energy to new applications as well as lower the economic barrier to entry. IMSR could be used on site in industries requiring high heat as well as electricity as the outlet temperature is much higher (600°C) than traditional reactors. Finally, with the ability to be converted to run off of spent fuel or thorium, the IMSR appears to have a bright future!

CNA2019

New nuclear from a strategic perspective panel at CNA2019

Top to bottom: Rita Baranwal, Bill Fox, Kenneth N. Luongo

On Thursday, February 28, at 11:15 a.m., Dr. Rita Baranwal, Bill Fox, and Kenneth N. Luongo take the stage at CNA2019 to discuss new nuclear from a strategic perspective.

Awareness is growing of the many power and non-power benefits of nuclear technology. Taken together, these cover a wide range of national interests. How should we be looking at New Nuclear from a strategic perspective? What does the evolving technology imply for state-to-state relations, national security, technology leadership, and commercial success?

Dr. Rita Baranwal is the  Director at the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN)  at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Created by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2015, GAIN supports nuclear startups and helps universities, industries and other private groups get nuclear technology to the market more quickly. U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated Dr. Baranwal to serve as the Department of Energy’s assistant secretary for nuclear energy.

William (Bill) Fox is the Executive Vice-President, Nuclear at SNC-Lavalin. He oversees all operations carried out by the Canadian Nuclear business unit, including the design and delivery of CANDU reactors, life extension projects, plant life management programs and tools and operation and maintenance services  for existing CANDU nuclear power stations across Canada and in key international markets.

Kenneth N. Luongo is the founder and president of the Partnership for Global Security (PGS) and the creator of the Global Nexus Initiative. He served as the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy for Nonproliferation Policy and simultaneously at the Department of Energy as the Director of the Office of Arms Control and Nonproliferation, Director of the Russia and Newly Independent States Nuclear Material Security Task Force and Director of the North Korea Task Force.

For more information about CNA2019 visit https://cna.ca/cna2019/.

Uncategorized

Nuclear industry eyes more federal support of ‘small modular reactors,’ as advocates push for Ottawa to hit pause

By Jolson Lim
Originally published in The Hill Times, December 3, 2018

The Canadian nuclear industry is looking for more federal government involvement in supporting the development of a new generation of reactors, after Natural Resources Canada put out a “roadmap” report earlier this month, spelling out steps different players in the sector could take.

The small modular reactor (SMR) roadmap was published on Nov. 7, and was co-developed between different public and private sector stakeholders. It recommends that federal, provincial, and territorial governments, along with utilities, industry, and the federally-funded national laboratory support demonstration of the use of SMR technology.

It also proposed: financial risk-sharing between the different players to support early deployment; the modernization of legislative and regulatory requirements to make development economically viable and timely; the development of a “robust knowledge base” for SMR technology; and for commitment to proactively engage with Indigenous communities.

SMRs are typically defined as nuclear reactors generating less than 300 megawatts of energy, and proponents see it as a promising source as the world struggles to fight climate change.

In Canada, backers see SMRs as a way to phase out diesel power for remote and Northern communities. However, to make it economically feasible within a small window of time for it to become a tool in reducing emissions, it would require demonstration soon, and eventually would require a fleet of reactors so manufacturers could benefit from more efficient and financially stable production.

But there is strong opposition to new nuclear energy development based on both environmental and safety concerns.

Nevertheless, any future development would likely have to involve government funding to support demonstration, on top of a regulatory review and placing a stronger emphasis on such technology in climate change plans.

“What would be so important now is for the government to show its policy support,” said John Barrett, president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA). “But that kind of holistic policy statement is not available yet.”

Mr. Barrett’s association submitted a letter addressed to Finance Minister Bill Morneau (Toronto Centre, Ont.) following the release of his fall economic update in November.

The letter calls for the extension of clean technology and clean infrastructure funding and support programs, such as the ability to expense of 100 per cent of capital investments and loan guarantees, to nuclear technology in the next budget.

It also asks the federal government to recognize nuclear as part of Canada’s suite of clean energy technologies and to create a funding mechanism for applied research and development of the next generation of reactors.

“Such measures would go a long way in creating the supportive business innovation climate needed in Canada today to encourage clean technology developers and start-ups in the nuclear sector,” it reads. “Only with a significant scale-up of such sources can Canada meet its Paris climate targets.”

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is currently partnering with small-reactor proponents to get a prototype built at one of its sites by 2026 for future demonstration. The company wants to prove the commercial viability of such reactors, and position Canada as a global hub for testing and development.

The company is aiming for it to occur at its Chalk River research facility, which sits about 200 kilometres northwest of Ottawa. CNL manages and operates the two research laboratories in Canada for Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., the crown corporation that owns such facilities.

Interest in SMRs is particularly strong in New Brunswick, where the local utility, NB Power, has partnered with an American firm to develop a small reactor in the province.

Mr. Barrett said Canada is in a commanding place with the development of SMRs, given its good regulatory and research environment and interest from different players. Globally, it makes the country an attractive place for development.

However, he said more federal focus is needed on nuclear energy.

“Nuclear is one of the tools that is sitting in the box and government hasn’t really pulled it out and taken a good look at what it can do,” said Mr. Barrett, adding it has a lot of export potential as well.

Concerns with SMRs

There are concerns that nuclear’s advantage as a low-carbon energy source is offset by serious safety and other environmental concerns.

Ole Hendrickson, a researcher for the advocacy group Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area—where the Chalk River facility is located—said proponents of nuclear energy ignore other emissions, including various noble gases, iodine, and radioactive waste that has to be expensively and carefully managed. Such waste remains dangerous long after its use, and disposal remains a major concern and question.

“We don’t see small modular reactors as any different,” he said.

Earlier this month, the group appeared on Parliament Hill alongside Green Party leader Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.) to voice their concern over SMRs ahead of the release of the roadmap report.

Lynn Jones, a member of the citizens’ group, also questioned whether federal government funding is worth it, given there are concerns about its economic viability that has recently seen nuclear power struggle to grow globally.

“They can’t possibly succeed without significant government subsidies, the private sector has backed away from them all over the world,” she said. “They’ve come to Canada to try and get the government to subsidize them.”

Her group recently submitted two petitions to the Auditor General of Canada, with the first voicing concerns that any investment in future nuclear power would tie-up funds that would otherwise go to other proven renewables that could more quickly and effectively reduce carbon emissions. The second petition asks federal ministers to provide a justification for considering nuclear power to be a form of clean energy.

“It would take way too long to develop SMRs, apart from the fact there’s lots of other concerns about them,” she said.

The road ahead

John Stewart, director of policy and research at the CNA—speaking as the project manager of the SMR roadmap—said the report makes recommendations to a wide range of players, including governments, waste management organizations, industry, researchers, and the regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

He said the “logical next step” is for one facilitating player to survey all those players to see what commitments they’re willing to make to further SMRs development.

“You need someone to do all that and elicit offers from the different players, get them to make specific commitments and eventually translate that into sort of national action plan,” he said.

He said he was pleased to see Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi (Edmonton Mill Woods, Alta.) attend the roadmap launch last month, despite not seeing a “lot in the way of signals” for nuclear power from the federal Liberal government.

Mr. Stewart said if the federal government offers a strong signal that SMRs can be a serious energy source, other players will follow up with tangible commitments.

“That would be a positive signal for other players to step up,” he said.

Nuclear energy accounts for almost 15 per cent of all electricity generated in Canada, particularly from two massive power plants in Ontario providing power to the Toronto region.

Mr. Stewart said nuclear power’s outlook has improved, but attitudes toward the severity of climate change haven’t matured fast enough that would see countries move quickly on SMRs.

“It looks better than it has in the past. Good would be going too far,” he said.

Uncategorized

WiN-Canada sponsorship opportunities

Women in Nuclear Canada (WiN-Canada) is coming to the end of it’s annual funding campaign for 2019. We have experienced strong support from our industry partners once again. However, there are a few outstanding opportunities for those who have yet to sponsor us, but would like to show their support. Note that there will also be opportunities to show your support at our upcoming conference in Bruce County (September 22-24, 2019) and at the WiN-Global conference that we will be hosting in Niagara Falls (October 4-9, 2020).

WiN Sponsorship Package 2019