Two Areas Identified for Further Study to Host Small Modular Reactor
September 20, 2022
SaskPower is evaluating a diverse range of generation options to ensure reliable and sustainable power, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including increased solar and wind, biomass, utility-scale energy storage, imports from neighbouring jurisdictions, and nuclear power from small modular reactors (SMRs).
As part of SaskPower’s planning and regulatory work to potentially develop nuclear power in Saskatchewan, the utility has identified the Estevan and Elbow areas for further study to determine the feasibility of hosting an SMR.
The Estevan study area includes the areas around Boundary/Rafferty Dam and around the Grant Devine Dam. The Elbow study area encompasses the area around Lake Diefenbaker, from Gardiner Dam to the Diefenbaker Dam.
To identify these study areas, SaskPower used technical criteria based on the requirements of the various SMR technologies the utility evaluated earlier this year. Some of these criteria include proximity to a suitable water supply, existing power infrastructure, workforce, nuclear regulations and standards, and learnings from past generation siting projects.
A final decision whether to build an SMR won’t happen until 2029, but to keep nuclear power an option for Saskatchewan, significant planning and regulatory work must be done now – and a necessary step to advance this regulatory work is to identify and select a location to potentially host an SMR.
“By identifying these two study areas, SaskPower has reached another critical milestone in its planning work to potentially bring nuclear power to Saskatchewan,” said the Honourable Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskPower. “Saskatchewan’s commitment to a sustainable, reliable, and affordable electrical system is evident with today’s announcement.”
As SaskPower proceeds with its planning and regulatory work to develop nuclear power in Saskatchewan, the utility has initiated the formal consultation on site selection with Indigenous Rightsholders in the selected areas.
Understanding perspectives and obtaining feedback is a priority for SaskPower, and the utility is committed to engaging with Saskatchewan throughout this project. With the identification of these regions, SaskPower will establish extensive and ongoing engagement activities with Indigenous Rightsholders, rural and urban municipalities, businesses, residents, and other stakeholders both within the study areas, and across the province.
“Feedback and perspectives from not just the regions but from the entire province are very important to SaskPower as we plan to potentially incorporate nuclear power into the generation mix,” said Rupen Pandya, President and CEO at SaskPower. “Engagement and consultation with Indigenous Rightsholders and the public is critical to this project, and I encourage the people of Saskatchewan to reach out and engage with us on this important project.”
The utility will also meet with non-government organizations, government ministries and agencies, and other organizations within the study areas to gain a regional perspective regarding nuclear power.
Providing safe, reliable, and sustainable power for Saskatchewan is a priority for SaskPower. To learn more about the utility’s plans for a sustainable power future through nuclear power, and to join the conversation, visit saskpower.com/nuclear.
At a glance...
- SaskPower has identified the Estevan and Elbow study areas as part of the utility’s SMR development work
- SaskPower is in a multi-year planning phase to develop nuclear power from SMRs
- Extensive engagement is scheduled later this year to determine potential host sites
- A final decision whether to construct an SMR won’t be made until 2029
- More information about the project can be found at saskpower.com/nuclear