OTTAWA – In most of them developed nations, Enthusiasm for the expansion of nuclear energy is limited or nonexistent. One exception: Canada.
It counts on nuclear power to be part of its clean energy mix, which will play a prominent role in drastically reducing CO2 emissions. On a per capita basis, Canada’s CO2 emissions are on a par with the USA and higher than in Russia, China and India.
“We see no way to achieve net zero carbon emissions without nuclear energy by 2050,” said Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister for Natural Resources. “It’s proven, it’s tested, and it’s safe. We’re good at it. “
Canada ranks sixth among countries in terms of nuclear power generation, according to the Washington, DC-based Nuclear Energy Institute. Electricity from 19 nuclear reactors accounts for 15% of the country’s energy supply. In Ontario, an economic engine that is larger in area than the state of Texas, nuclear energy is the most important source of electricity with 60%.
At the end of last year, the Canadian federal government drew up a political roadmap for the use of so-called small modular reactors, or SMRs. They are a new class of reactors that are built in factories and come in a variety of sizes. They can produce enough energy for a small town of 5,000 people or a town of 300,000 people.