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Atlantica Centre for Energy

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Overview

The Atlantica Centre for Energy is dedicated to increasing energy literacy for community leaders and stakeholders. The Centre includes leading energy professionals, national and international organizations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, Ontario, Alberta, and Prince Edward Island.

The Centre serves as a bridge between organizations operating in the energy sector and the community to help realize opportunities associated with energy resources in Atlantic Canada. It provides a meeting ground for government, the education and research sectors, and the community at large to foster partnerships and engage in energy-related issues.

During our 15-year history, we have investigated numerous energy opportunities that had the potential to be “game-changers” for the region, as well as nationally. It is our opinion after studying the SMR potential over the past two years, that the development of advanced SMR technology in New Brunswick has as much potential as any we have studied in the past.

The opportunity is significant for New Brunswick, the Maritime region, and has pan-Canadian positive impacts.

Our vision for SMR development in Canada:

The Canadian Nuclear Utilities have identified a concurrent three-stream approach for the development and deployment of SMR technology as part of a pan-Canadian approach. These three streams are being developed in parallel with equal priority to address the various Pan Canadian needs and to bring benefits to all of Canada and the world. We are specifically supportive of NRCan supplying funding to support the advanced Generation-4 SMRs being developed in New Brunswick, which brings additional benefits of SMR to Canada and the rest of the world.

We were the driving force in bringing together stakeholders to form the Atlantic Clean Energy Alliance, a group of those interested in furthering clean, non-emitting electricity generation in the Atlantic region. The Alliance includes academia, utilities, government, nuclear proponents, other renewable developers, and community participants.

Through this group, we have collectively supported renewable and advanced-SMR development. We recognize that non-emitting baseload generation is required to support and complement other renewables.

The advanced SMR designs being developed in New Brunswick have benefits that secure nuclear energy as a viable, cost-effective an deployable generation method that will increase the level of safety, have low-cost capital and operations, and the ability to recycle used fuel. They have co-generation capabilities for potential application with heavy industry, desalination or hydrogen production (another key opportunity in the energy sector), and excellent load-following for intermittent-renewable forms of electricity production.

We are also supportive of the export market potential of this technology once developed at a commercial scale.

Our view is to support several technology development proponents to create a New Brunswick-based cluster of innovation for advanced, fourth-generation SMR technology.

The Atlantica Centre for Energy also recognizes the non-nuclear economic spin-offs to the greater economy of this technology cluster development. Studies completed to date indicate more than half of the components can be manufactured in New Brunswick, expanding the base of existing companies and providing an opportunity for additional companies to establish a presence in this region.

Other parts of Canada are well positioned to continue to supply remaining components, especially the nuclear-specific ones.

The potential economic benefits to Canada for Stream Two in New Brunswick was assessed at the University of Moncton with preliminary impacts of:

  • 537,000 person-years of direct/indirect employment
  • a GDP increase (Direct/Indirect) of $59 Billion, and
  • revenue to the Federal government of > $5.2 Billion

The Atlantica Centre for Energy has been involved with local stakeholders since the SMR Roadmap was being developed and has remained active since its release in 2018.

We have participated in numerous public engagements, conferences, webinars, tours, meetings and other communication means (including social media) to engage with the public and interested stakeholders.

We also hosted a session on First Nation engagement that included participants from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario.

The Atlantica Centre for Energy supports the principles of a Pan-Canadian SMR Action Plan that includes technology development and commercialization in New Brunswick.

ACTIONS

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
New Brunswick-Based Advanced SMR Cluster
STATUS: UPCOMING
ACE01

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 1

ACTION

The Atlantica Centre for Energy will continue to support the federal government, through NRCan, to provide funding to one or more SMR development proponents based at the Lepreau site in New Brunswick.

The Atlantica Centre for Energy will engage NRCan to support a New Brunswick-based cluster for development of Advanced, fourth-generation SMR technology

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • NRCan will support New Brunswick based proponents and NB Power further developing 4th-gen SMR Technology as part of their 2020 funding
  • At least two SMR demonstration projects will be situated at the Lepreau site by 2021; and constructed and in operation in New Brunswick early to mid 2030’s
  • The technology-readiness of two or more SMR technologies is advanced to the precommercial stage
  • New Brunswick, and other sites in Canada will be positioned to benefit from research and create value for the domestic supply chain from the development of these SMR technologies
POLICY, LEGISLATION, AND REGULATION
Partnerships for SMR deployment in New Brunswick
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
Ongoing until November 2020
ACE02

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 4

ACTION

Continue to engage with NRCan, ACEA, and other partners to encourage the timely distribution of funds to support the development and commercialization of 4th-generation SMR technology in New Brunswick.

EXPECTED RESULTS

Public and private decisions are informed by a strategic, action-oriented plan.

The plan respects and builds on the respective roles and responsibilities of essential enabling partners and sets out timelines for action to maximize benefits to all regions in Canada.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Supporting Indigenous engagement
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
ACE03

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 48, 53

ACTION

Meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples and communities on the subject of SMRs

  • The Atlantica Centre for Energy has worked with NB Power, proponents, governments, and other interested stakeholders to increase the level of energy literacy regarding SMR technolog.
  • Webinars, newsletters, one-on-one meetings, and other forms of communication, including social media, have been used to communicate and answer questions regarding 4th generation SMR technology

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • Increase the level of understanding of 4th-gen SMR technology
  • Reduce uncertainty regarding current nuclear technology in Canada
  • Reduce/eliminate inaccurate/misinformation regarding nuclear technology being developed/deployed in Canada
  • Establish a resource for accurate SMR information
CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Energy education programs
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
ACE04

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 48, 53

ACTION

The Atlantica Centre for Energy will lead in the following activities to ensure energy education programs are created to disseminate accurate information regarding SMR technology in Canada

  • Atlantica Centre for Energy along with partners in the Atlantic Clean Energy Alliance are continuing their efforts to increase energy literacy in the region, nationally and internationally
  • Atlantica Centre for Energy includes academia at the University of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Community College in its efforts to understand and educate on Advanced SMR R&D

EXPECTED RESULTS

An inclusive cross section of the community will have an understanding of the technology, the community benefits, the economic impact, and the future potential beyond the Maritime region and nationally.

The difference between existing nuclear technology and 4th generation SMR technology will be available.

  • An increase in support for SMR deployment in New Brunswick and Canada.
  • An increase in nuclear sector as an option for students and potential workforce.
INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND MARKETS
Expanding partnerships
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
ACE05

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s):

ACTION

To continue to engage with additional partners interested in Stream-Two development and commercialization of SMR technology in New Brunswick.

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • Expanded collective effort of developing SMR technology in New Brunswick
  • Development of expanded supply chain