The Canadian Nuclear Association

Endorsement date


The CNA and Its Mission

The Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) is a non-profit organization that represents the nuclear industry in Canada and promotes the development and growth of nuclear technologies to meet Canadians’ energy, environmental, economic, and social needs. Our mission is to create and foster a political environment and reasonable regulatory framework for advancing the industry; encourage cooperation among all stakeholders; provide a forum for the discussion and resolution of issues; and encourage cooperation with other associations that have similar objectives and purposes.

Every year in Canada, nuclear technology helps avoid 80 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by displacing fossil fuels and supplies 70% of the global supply of cobalt-60, radioisotopes that are used to treat cancer and sterilize medical equipment, among other things.

It generates more than $6 billion in revenue and creates more than 76,000 direct and indirect, well-paying jobs. Canada stands to solidify its leading position in the world’s nuclear industry with the introduction of next-generation technologies in the form of small nuclear reactors.

The CNA hosted the 2012-16 Nuclear Leadership Forum, which set a long-term vision for the success of Canada’s nuclear industry. That vision was articulated to Canadians in our 2017 document Vision 2050. Prior to the launch of the 2018 SMR Roadmap, the CNA hosted or supported numerous industry efforts to explore Canada’s SMR opportunity including hosting SMR workshops, committees and discussion panels. More recently:

  • In 2017-19 CNA provided the Secretariat for the SMR Roadmap, and we continue to host the Roadmap website.
  • CNA co-sponsors the Canada-US Executive Task Force on SMR Regulation.
  • In 2020 CNA joined with COG to establish and lead the Canadian Nuclear Industry SMR Secretariat. The Secretariat is supporting the formation of this Action Plan and will continue to monitor and report progress toward implementation of the SMR Roadmap in months and years to come.

CNA’s Vision and Commitment

SMRs are at the heart of a clean energy transition. Our vision for SMR development in Canada is that such development will deliver solutions to Canadians’ energy, environmental, economic and social needs, while contributing to the Nuclear Leadership Forum’s vision of keeping Canada in the top tier of nuclear technology countries.

The CNA is committed to the preceding Statement of Principles, and in particular to finding opportunities to integrate SMRs with other clean energy sources, storage technologies and applications to accelerate Canada’s low-carbon future.

CNA’s Motive in this Action Plan

Consistent with our Mission, this Action Plan advances the interests of our diverse membership (which includes for-profit corporations, Crown entities, universities and research organizations). It also seeks to advance the long-term future of nuclear technologies in Canada for Canadians’, and humanity’s, public good.

CNA’s Role in Canada’s SMR Ecosystem

Our view of our role in the SMR ecosystem can be identified as follows:

  • We advance public education and awareness about the benefits of new nuclear energy.
  • We provide various forums for, and supports to, dialog among stakeholders (such as the NLF, the past and present Secretariats, and many events, committees and working groups).
  • We provide Canada’s nuclear industry with a unified international brand and voice in key venues such as standing international organizations: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), International Energy Agency (IEA), government-led dialogs (Clean Energy Ministerial, Nuclear Innovation Clean Energy forums), and collaborative efforts with other industry organizations (World Nuclear Association, Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI),Nuclear Industry Association United Kingdom (NIAUK), Foratom).
  • We facilitate relations among stakeholders and between industry and governments – notably in regulatory affairs.
  • We are a repository of experience and knowledge in these and other areas.

CNA’s Vision of Success for the Action Plan

Our vision of success is Canada’s nuclear industry, governments, universities, civil society, Indigenous people and local communities working together on a shared agenda that delivers on Canadians’ energy, economic, social and environmental needs, while strengthening Canada’s long term future as a top-tier nuclear country.


Supporting SMR Action Plan senior leadership

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 32, 5


In collaboration with the Federal Government, CNA will help convene and facilitate an annual meeting of SMR Action Plan senior leadership stakeholders.

The SMR Action Plan will increase momentum on new nuclear energy and catalyze clarification of stakeholders’ roles.

After the Action Plan’s launch, the Canadian Nuclear Industry SMR Secretariat will continue monitoring and analyzing activity on SMRs by all stakeholders.


Continued support for the commercialization of SMRs in Canada in a manner that respects shared roles, responsibilities, and jurisdictions—and leverages benefits to Canada and supports strategic partnerships.

Provide a venue for key decision makers to discuss progress and priorities for future action on nuclear innovation and nuclear technology applications broadly.

Public Awareness and Confidence

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 33


Increase outreach to other clean energy industry associations, ensuring appropriate representation of nuclear energy in broader clean energy dialogues.

While it sustains work the CNA has pursued for many years, this has been a heightened priority for CNA in recent years. This prioritization is due to the urgency and relevance of climate change and clean energy issues, and due to broadening awareness of the extent of the transformation challenge, which points more and more Canadians to the need for all forms of clean energy to work together in an integrated clean energy future.

CNA will continue this vital work, including seeking opportunities to address Canadians through speaking events and public policy dialogues.


This increased outreach will enable stronger collaboration across the electricity sector, led by bridge-building to associations representing other clean energy technologies such as renewables, with a view to presenting unified views of Canada’s clean energy future to Canadians and their governments.

Promoting industry leadership on the global stage

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 34


CNA continues to support industry participation in a Team Canada approach to international conferences and multilateral initiatives through a variety of actions:

  • Leading a Team Canada approach to events such as Clean Energy Ministerial and World Nuclear Exhibition
  • Supporting Canadian governments in other international missions such as to the IAEA General Council
  • Pursuing deeper and broader engagement with nuclear industry associations in other countries (NEI, NIAUK, Foratom, etc)
  • Co-sponsoring the Canada-US Executive Task Force on SMR regulation

Funding (with OCNI) systematic efforts toward an alliance model for international marketing of Canada’s nuclear energy capabilities


Canada presents a unified and coordinated approach internationally, showcasing the full breadth of the sector and leadership in nuclear innovation.


Canada’s proposed rules for impact assessment of major projects

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 7


Work with governments & key stakeholders to ensure that initiatives to enable SMRs and the new Impact Assessment Act are mutually reinforcing. CNA will support this action by:

  • monitor legislative and regulatory developments to keep industry informed
  • provide a forum for industry-government dialog
  • articulate and advocate industry positions in this crucial area, which could be decisive for the realization of the SMR opportunity in Canada


As initial SMR projects move forward and the expected dramatically reduced environmental risk of SMRs is demonstrated, it is expected that the greater regulatory certainty and reduced project risk will enable SMR projects to proceed on more manageable timelines.

Ensure Clean Energy programming is open to Nuclear Energy

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 9


Ensure governments’ clean energy programming & spending are open to nuclear energy. CNA supports this action in a variety of ways.

The CNA President (who came to us from the renewable energy sector), CNA staff and partners are building bridges to other clean energy industries with a view to developing a common dialog with government, framed around how to advance electrification of Canada’s economy over the next two decades.

We will continue to:

  • Consistently advocate for the inclusion of nuclear as clean energy, based on the well-established scientific evidence.
  • Conduct public opinion research and advance public education and awareness to facilitate the government’s making this inclusion.

Cooperate with CNA’s sister organizations around the world for this purpose.


Nuclear energy development is placed on equal footing and included in federal government programming and policies in support of clean and non-emitting energy sources.

Nuclear Energy in Climate Change and Clean Energy Planning

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 18


To support this recommendation, CNA will complete the following actions with provinces and territories as well as with the federal government, international organizations, and other countries:

  • Consistently advocate for the inclusion of nuclear as clean energy, based on scientific evidence.
  • Conduct public opinion research and advance public education and awareness to facilitate governments making this inclusion.


Climate change and clean energy policies are aligned with, and support, the development of innovative, low-carbon nuclear energy technologies across all interested provinces and territories in Canada.

Promoting diversity in the future SMR workforce

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 39, 49


While CNA itself is a very small employer, we have strong collaborative relationships with Women in Nuclear (WiN), Equal by 30 and North American Young Generation Nuclear (NAYGN) that have already enabled great advances in renewing and gender-balancing the industry’s workforce. We use our large annual Conference and Trade Show to create diverse platforms, notably for women and young leaders in nuclear. We recently established a diversity and inclusion committee to explore CNA’s internal efforts and where we can support the industry, for example, with recruiting a more diverse workforce.

CNA will continue this valuable work, including:

  • Enhancing our collaboration with labour organizations (PWU, SEP, CNWC) to better integrate the worker’s perspective into industry advocacy.

Promoting less visible, yet important, dimensions of diversity (educational, linguistic, cultural, social).


The future SMR workforce is diverse and equitably recognizes contributions from women, youth, minorities, and Indigenous people.

Additionally, enrollment by women, minorities, and Indigenous persons in university and college programs in nuclear energy is increased.

This will enable the nuclear sector in Canada to draw from a diverse pool of highly skilled professionals that is fully representative of women, youth, minorities, and Indigenous persons.

Engagement with Heavy Industry

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 52


CNA will continue to engage with heavy industry and potential users of new nuclear energy technology, as it has done so for many years.

In Alberta we broadened this to various regional stakeholders, thus raising awareness (for example) of nuclear as an energy option in the oil and gas sector. This work contributed materially to Alberta’s willingness to join the interprovincial SMR MOU.

Since the SMR Roadmap’s release we have continued working on outreach to the mining industry (via for example through the Prospectors’ and Developers’ Association of Canada (PDAC), the mining innovation institute Mirarco, and the national and provincial mining industry associations). This too is accelerating interest in SMR use.

CNA can help ensure that wider groups of stakeholders are aware of these opportunities, their potential benefits, and the progress being made. Going forward, CNA will continue to raise awareness of these opportunities by:

  • Contributing articles and/or advertising in target trade publications.
  • Appearing and speaking at key conferences and events.
  • Encouraging and collaborating in more detailed assessments of the energy-use profiles of high-use industrial consumers like building complexes and remote mine sites, in order to align SMR technology with those specific customer needs.


  • Canada’s heavy industry sectors understand the potential applications and benefits for SMRs, potential challenges, and efforts underway in Canada.
  • The needs and end-user requirements of heavy industry are considered in the design and development of SMR technologies.