Launched in December 2019, A Strategic Plan for the Deployment of Small Modular Reactors has brought together the governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Alberta to work together to advance SMRs in Canada through an inter-provincial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The Strategic Plan highlights how SMRs can provide safe, reliable, and zero-emissions energy to power our growing economy and population while creating new opportunities to export Canadian knowledge and expertise around the world.
As the leading voice for First Nations-led projects and businesses within Canada’s energy sector, FNPA proudly helped launch the SMR development and deployment plan. The inaugural leadership table meeting was recently held, and there has been some meaningful progress on Indigenous inclusion happening!
The Strategic Plan identifies five key priority areas for SMR development and deployment:
- Positioning Canada as an exporter of global SMR technology by propelling three separate streams of SMR development, covering both on-grid and off-grid applications.
- Promoting a strong nuclear regulatory framework that focuses on the health and safety of the public and the environment while ensuring reasonable costs and timelines.
- Securing federal government commitments on financial and policy support for new SMR technologies that would lead to vast economic benefits across the country and help meet our emissions reduction targets.
- Creating opportunities for participation from Indigenous communities and public engagement.
- Working with the federal government and nuclear operators on a robust nuclear waste management plan for SMRs.
Regarding creating opportunities for participation from Indigenous communities and public engagement, FNPA is uniquely positioned to move this forward.
Our commitment to the SMR Roadmap and Strategic Plan is rooted in the essential action to contribute to economic reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. We are working with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to deliver sound public policy for Indigenous Engagement and Economic Reconciliation.
Right now, we are at the stage of providing Indigenous-based engagement delivery. We are engaging with NRCan to provide ongoing multi-year engagement with Indigenous communities about clean energy options relevant to the Treaty and traditional territory of Indigenous Peoples’ customs, traditions, and values.
There is an advisory council composed of individual First Nations, Métis, and Inuit members from Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta, and the territories to ensure a coordinated, Indigenous national leadership voice on the development of SMRs.
At the Canadian Nuclear Association conference in Ottawa this past April, our CEO, Guy Lonechild, introduced the council members—picking up momentum building toward Indigenous engagement.
As the Action Plan continues to develop, this council will prepare Indigenous peoples to participate in the SMR economy in numerous ways and provide an Indigenous lens to SMR policies, programs, and decisions.
Since the launch of the SMR plan in 2019, we’ve hit notable milestones, seen significant changes and movement, hosted great meetings, and pushed forward our strong provincial representation.
FNPA is pleased to be a strategic partner with NRCan on Indigenous Advisory Council on Small Modular Reactors Action Plan, and we’re looking forward to making more progress.