SPEA: SMRs can be good, but what about CANDU?


OPG announces step in the right direction, but it will take more than PMS to meet Ontario’s electricity needs

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MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, December 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) welcomed yesterday’s announcement that Ontario Power Generation has chosen a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) design to build on the Darlington site. “It’s great to see OPG embrace nuclear again after many years,” said Mark Chudak, President of SPEA. “However, they chose an American design while remaining silent on the need to install high capacity, locally developed CANDU reactors to replace the aging Pickering plant and whether a suitable site was to be located for a new SMR design. , priority should have been given to Canadian Design.

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According to Chudak, “nuclear is the basic energy source available with the lowest emissions. As former Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan said: “There is no way to net zero without nuclear power. by Canadian taxpayers. It has the best safety record in the industry and has been chosen by countries around the world.

SMRs range in size up to 300 MWe, while a nuclear power plant the size of Pickering is currently operating at 3,100 MWe, up from 4,144 kW at full capacity. This would mean that it would take at least 10-14 SMRs to replace the electricity produced from Pickering. Ontario currently depends on nuclear for 60% (or 87.8 TWh in 2020) of the electricity consumed. Nuclear power was one of the main reasons the province was able to shut down all coal plants. Nuclear power plants produce what is called baseload electricity generation, unlike renewables such as wind and solar which are always available. Nuclear power is carbon-free unlike alternative gas-fired power plants, and its operation is cheaper per kWh.

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“Ontario has a proven, reliable and safe nuclear solution in CANDU. It is time for the provincial and federal governments to recognize this and make the necessary investments to provide the energy that Ontarians are now and into the future, ”said Chudak. “In order to meet our climate goals, we will need large capacity plants such as Darlington, Bruce and Pickering. “

According to a recent Clean Energy Canada report, it would take more than a dozen Bruce-sized power plants to provide the clean energy needed to meet climate goals. Global nuclear demand is on the rise, with countries like China set to build 130 nuclear power plants over the next two decades. Other countries like Britain, France and the United States have indicated that they are ready to make significant investments in nuclear power to combat climate change.

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Chudak concluded by saying, “Canada has a homemade solution to our need for clean, safe and reliable energy through CANDU technology. Our members are ready to deliver the next generation of nuclear power, all we need is political leadership from the federal and provincial governments.

The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates is an independent union representing engineers, scientists, technical and administrative staff, who work for Candu Energy Inc-Nuclear Division of SNC-Lavalin (formerly Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) Candu Division) in Mississauga, Ontario and internationally (excluding AECL’s Chalk River Laboratories). Formed in 1974, the SPEA is one of the oldest professional unions in Canada.

For more information, contact:

Michelle Duncan, employee representative
Phone. : 416-427-3525
E-mail: [email protected]

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