Bucephalus Consulting is pleased to endorse the SMR roadmap Statement of Principles and to provide this submission detailing its interest in, and its commitment to, making SMRs a success in Canada.
Bucephalus Consulting is an entity through which its Principal Consultant, Dr. Neil Alexander, provides expert advice, primarily in the fields of SMR deployment, radioisotope production and use and decommissioning and waste management. Bucephalus Consulting is already actively engaged in the Canadian SMR program providing advice on many aspects of deployment, mainly focused on the business, government relations and communications issues. Dr. Alexander was one of the first active proponents of SMRs in Canada and has extensive experience in that field including;
- Chairing the Emissions Free Energy Working Group and attempting to establish a unified approach to SMR regulation
- Contributing the engagement section for the CNA proposal “Northern Lights” to try to secure early stage funding to develop an SMR program.
- Leading the industry’s SMR “Supercluster” proposal.
- Co-authoring papers on SMR deployment with Bob Walker, former president and CEO of AECL.
- Contributing to IAEA initiatives on SMR deployment and the CORDEL initiative to look at Codes and Standards for international SMR deployment
As the Executive Director of the Sylvia Fedoruk Centre Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation he;
- Supported the nuclear program now contained within the Centre for Science and Innovation Policy, introducing this key resource into the Canadian SMR program.
- Co-developed and supported the investigation into deployment of SMRs in previously non-nuclear jurisdictions, being led by the University of Regina.
A former President of the Organization of CANDU Industries (now the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries) and a father of three surviving daughters, Dr Alexander advocates for SMRs because they;
- Provide a route to a sustainable world to pass to his children.
- Can create economic opportunity for Canada.
His vision for SMRs in Canada is of;
- A fleet or fleets of SMRs providing clean, affordable energy from a tiny physical footprint.
- An SMR industry that is exporting so much nuclear technology to the rest of the world that it is a major contributor to the Canadian balance of trade and has the world seeing Canada as a leader in the avoidance of climate change.
There is an urgency regarding SMR deployment in Canada both because other countries are also seeking to develop first-mover advantage and because, if they are not deployed in a timely manner, they cannot contribute to achieving emissions objectives. However, it is more important that any plan is a good one, with all the issues regarding successful deployment and the route to export benefit, being carefully thought out. As many people are now beginning to realize, success is not just about technology but about an environment in which SMRs can prosper.
In addition, to continuing to provide its services to SMR clients Bucephalus Consulting will contribute the time of Dr Alexander to help in the, presently under-resourced, field of providing information to the public about SMRs and to explain why they are important to Canada, answering questions and calling out misinformation where it appears in the media.
Dr Alexander will also continue his role as a leader in the Thought Collective bringing together grassroots communicators and providing a platform for them to learn from each other, debate issues and to be briefed by people in the industry, so that their communications may become more effective.
Notwithstanding the significance of the public of acceptance of nuclear power to the successful deployment of SMRs and the power of grassroots communicators, this issue was not included in the SMR Roadmap and does not have specific recommendations. As a result, it is possible that the most powerful group of communicators may not be engaged. Bucephalus Consulting is pleased to do its best to correct this both through its direct communications and through advice to other organizations whose communications are mentioned in the roadmap.
DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
SMR Demonstration and deployment
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 01
Continue to provide services including;
- preparation of compelling proposals and grant applications
- development of marketing strategies and plans
- advice on credible business and deployment plans
- advice on effective communications and engagements
- development of technology selection criteria
Demonstrations that might lead to a successful fleet deployment and export success.
POLICY, LEGISLATION, AND REGULATION
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 23
Continue to provide advice in international codes and standards issues when asked.
An environment where Canadian built SMRs may easily be exported as the codes and standards of importing countries are the same as Canada’s.
CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Indigenous Engagement; Public, Community and Indigenous Engagement in SMRs; Public and Community Engagement in Used Fuel from SMRs, Dissemination of Nuclear Energy Information to Non-Nuclear Audiences
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 10,19, 24, 31, 33, 43, 50.
- Continue to actively communicate about SMRs and their importance to Canada
- Continue to provide advice on communications to interested parties
- Continue to arrange Thought Collective events to equip grassroots communicators
Obtain public support for the program that will strengthen Government resolve and reduce the risk that anti-nuclear sentiments derail the program.