A New Power: Economic Impacts of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors in Electricity Grids

The Conference Board of Canada, 2 pages, March 17, 2021
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This summary for executives outlines the economic benefits—as well as possible challenges—of deploying small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) in Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Document Highlights

Small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) can potentially deliver zero-emissions, non-intermittent, and cost-competitive energy for Canadians. But in the wake of an economic recession, they need to yield dividends. We estimated the economic impact of deploying SMRs in Ontario and Saskatchewan from 2021 onward, and what barriers might exist.

Some highlights:

  • Deploying an SMR in Ontario can generate $2.6 billion in GDP, $1.7 billion in wages, and $873 million in taxes for the economy.
  • On average, manufacturing and construction could add 7,042 jobs per year from a fleet of Saskatchewan SMRs. Canada benefits from 10,516 jobs per year during that phase.
  • From concept to commercialization, SMRs require about a billion dollars of development expenditure. This risky pre-commercial phase needs public capital, but governments will be reluctant without major private capital commitment. Financial risk-sharing will be important.

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