Father and sun fishing on a lake.

We’re one step closer to determining the location of the province’s first potential SMR facility.

We’ve narrowed our search for a site down to 2 near the City of Estevan — 1 on the Boundary Dam Reservoir within the RM of Estevan and the other on the Rafferty Reservoir in the RM of Cambria. We’ll proceed with detailed investigation through technical, environmental, social/cultural, and economic studies of the 2 sites, leading to final site selection in early 2025.

Estevan area

The Elbow region remains an attractive option for the development of nuclear power. We will continue to explore land options in the region and continue to work with Rightsholders and communities in the area.

Selecting a site will allow us to proceed with many regulatory processes. This is site-specific and critical to moving the project forward as we work towards our final investment decision in 2029.

As we work towards final site selection, we recognize that input from Indigenous and local leaders and the people that live, work and play near the potential sites is critical to help inform our work. We want to know what matters most to you as we compare the site options.

Learn more about our up coming events and nd share your priorities at saskpower.com/engage.

Site Selection Process

To start the siting process, we looked at regions across the province that could meet the requirements for the technology we selected. We considered factors like a region’s proximity to:

  • existing power infrastructure
  • emergency services
  • access to a workforce

Based on these factors, in 2022, we selected 2 study regions to further evaluate – 1 near Estevan and 1 near Elbow.

Narrowing the Study Regions

From there we chose the 2 study regions, and we began to narrow in on specific areas within them that could work best to host  a potential SMR. That included a:

  • Suitability Analysis
  • Water Intake Study
  • Regional Evaluation Process

Learn more about each below.

Suitability Analysis

We identified areas of high and low suitability using over 50 criteria, grouped into 3 themes:

Land closer to water, transmission lines, highways, or larger communities is more suitable. Land near critical habitat, historic sites, or on unstable ground is less suitable.

Take a deeper dive on the criteria and how it was used to help identify suitable land, by reviewing the Siting Indicator Workbooks:

Water Intake Study

We identified the best stretches of shoreline to access water. Access to a body of water is a key consideration for siting an SMR and is needed for our chosen technology.

Regional Evaluation Process (REP)

We introduced a REP that helped improve our siting criteria and suitability analysis. 

The process involved 4 committee workshops in each region. The committees had representatives from regional Indigenous groups, organizations, and stakeholders. It was a valuable way to engage with groups in each region on the siting process, and other aspects of the project.

All the REP materials are available to the public. You can read the REP Report, access documents and learn about the whole process at Regional Evaluation Process.

Tying it Together

To capture the combined results of the Suitability Analysis, Water Intake Study and REP, we created suitability maps and updated them along the way. The results of the Suitability Analysis are shaded in green and white. The darker the green, the more suitable the land. Areas in white are less suitable or not suitable at all. The black circles mark the findings from our Water Intake Study and identify areas where we could gain access to water.

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