Priority 12: A Nuclear Future

Priority 12: A Nuclear Future

Second last in a series on the ‘Now or Never” report of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources (ENEV).

With oil sands and pipelines making the news, nuclear power often takes a back seat to Canada’s energy discussion. Nonetheless, nuclear energy is an important part of the Canadian energy mix. There are three provinces that generate electricity by nuclear power and all are committed to ensuring its future.

We have a proud history with nuclear power in this country. All nuclear reactors in Canada are CANDU reactors which were designed and built be Atomic Energy Canada Limited. We have successfully exported this technology to other countries. We mine and export uranium in Saskatchewan. And the National Research Universal reactor in Ontario is the world’s largest producer of isotopes for medicine and industry.

But with events such as the Fukushima Daiichi accident still in our minds, safety is always at the forefront when discussing nuclear energy. Obviously the industry is heavily regulated and monitored and Canada has maintained an excellent safety record. The other big industry issue is long term waste storage, which is the responsibility of the owners. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization has been tasked by the federal government to establish a deep geological repository for used fuel.

For today’s lesson, take a look at how nuclear power is moving into the future. Canadian nuclear facilities are being upgraded to meet consumer demand for affordable, reliable electricity. So support and investment in the industry are strong. Just as with other pieces of Canada’s energy pie, nuclear power is evolving.