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Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE)

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Overview

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) is the advocacy body and voice of the engineering profession. In Ontario, there are approximately more than 85,000 professional engineers, 250,000 engineering graduates, and more than 43,000 undergraduate and post-graduate engineering students.

OSPE advocates for effective energy policies at the provincial and federal levels of government to ensure a safe, reliable, affordable, sustainable and abundant energy supply for businesses and residents.

OSPE supports Canada’s Small Modular Reaction (SMR) Action Plan and its Statement of Principles. OSPE supports the development of SMRs because nuclear energy is known to be an effective way to reduce atmospheric emissions including greenhouse gases. A review of major industrial jurisdictions confirms that dependable low emission electricity can be produced affordably with any combination of nuclear energy and hydroelectricity for our base-load electricity requirements. 

The deployment of nuclear energy using large water-cooled reactors has been hampered by the public’s concerns about long-lived radioactive fuel wastes, radioactive releases following major equipment failures, weapon proliferation and recent cost over-runs for large nuclear projects in developed countries. SMR technology developers have proposed several design versions, each with a combination of features that addresses those public concerns. Some SMR designs can also meet the various needs of residents in different geographies including dense cities, suburban areas, rural areas and even remote areas with no access to an electric grid. 

Currently we do not have a competitive source of dependable clean heat to displace natural gas, propane or heating oil. However, new SMR technology can provide competitive clean heat energy for base-load heating needs under the proposed carbon price policies recently announced by the federal government.  Some SMR designs can also provide higher temperature heat energy needed by industry.

SMRs can be designed to be passively safe – meaning they will shut down without human intervention or external power sources if major equipment failures occur. This effectively eliminates large off-site radioactive releases following major equipment failures. This passive feature has been demonstrated at research facilities in the United States.

Some SMR designs can be fueled from recycled spent fuel from other reactors. These SMRs can reduce the existing nuclear fuel stockpiles by about 100 times less volume and 1000 times shorter storage duration.

OSPE’s engineering community looks forward to contributing to solutions to combat climate change, such as participating in the development of SMR technology.

ACTIONS


CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Public Engagement on SMRs – Energy Seminars for the Public
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
OSPE01

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 53

ACTION

OSPE plans to engage its members who work in the nuclear industry to prepare seminars tailored to both non-nuclear engineers and the general public to help them understand nuclear energy and SMRs. The seminars will be designed to help members of the public engage more effectively in discussions on clean energy policy with both their neighbours and their political leaders.

OSPE plans to deliver public seminars approximately once each quarter. The seminars will be made available online.

EXPECTED RESULTS

A more informed public on the role that nuclear energy and SMRs can play in meeting our energy and environmental goals.


CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Public Engagement on SMRs – OSPE’s Engineering Conference
STATUS: UPCOMING
OSPE02

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 53

ACTION

OSPE will also engage the engineering community by hosting its first annual Engineering Conference, where SMRs and the future of nuclear energy will be discussed.

EXPECTED RESULTS

  • A more informed engineering community that is able to understand the role that nuclear energy and SMRs can play in meeting our energy and environmental goals.


CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Public Engagement on SMRs – Input to Government Policy Engagements
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
OSPE03

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 53

ACTION

OSPE plans to provide input to provincial and federal public engagements related to climate change and clean energy policy to ensure nuclear energy is part of the energy mix and its benefits are realized.

One of these important consultations is the Ontario Long Term Energy Plan (ERO 019-3007).

EXPECTED RESULTS

More effective clean energy policies that result in improved energy reliability and safety, and reduced emissions and costs.