Small Modular Reactors: Powering the Future of Mining

2019

Diane Cameron, Natural Resources Canada

Description: Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are small nuclear reactors that could provide heat and power for on- and off-grid applications. SMRs could be a reliable, lower-cost, non-emitting, and more sustainable option for mine sites relying on heat and power from fossil fuels—unlocking opportunities for resource development and giving Canada’s mining sector a competitive edge. Convened by Natural Resources Canada, this session will bring together experts from mining, research labs, nuclear power plant operators, and SMR developers to explore the role that SMRs could play in enabling a competitive, low-carbon future for the mining sector in Canada. It will also examine what needs to be done by essential enablers in the mining and nuclear sectors to realize this opportunity. The recently-released Canadian SMR Roadmap (www.smrroadmap.ca), a stakeholder-led process to chart a path forward for SMRs, found that there is strong potential for SMRs in the mining sector, with as much as a 20 to 60% cost advantage over diesel. It found a need for specific engagement on SMRs in the mining sector, and recommended that mining firms explore a role for SMRs in their operations, including potential business models and partnerships with the nuclear sector. Mining firms and research organizations like MIRARCO were engaged in the Roadmap, and some have expressed interest in SMRs as a future option. The session will feature introductory remarks from Natural Resources Canada, statements from panelists, and an interactive Q&A with audience participants. Panel: o   Diane Cameron, Director, Nuclear Energy Division o   Mining Association of Canada o   Ontario Power Generation o   Canadian Nuclear Laboratories
Keywords: nuclear; clean; sustainability; innovation; energy; competitiveness
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