Could nuclear power be coming to the southeast?

According to Joel Cherry, Spokesperson with SaskPower, if we do see small modular reactors in our area, it wont be well into the next decade.

"We're still relatively early in the SMR process. The decision of whether or not to build one of these facilities is still a number of years out, but getting out now and engaging with people and getting their perspectives and answering their questions is a is an important part of the process. 

To ascertain the views of local communities, SaskPower held an engagement session in Weyburn earlier this month with around 15 people showing up to ask questions and provide feedback.

Another will be held tonight at the Legion in Oxbow, at the Legion in Alameda, at the Elks Club tomorrow in Estevan, and in Lampman and Carlyle on Thursday. Find the full details below.

"There are no nuclear reactors west of Ontario currently. Alberta's [power] generation mix is somewhat similar to Saskatchewan," said Cherry. "I think they had looked at nuclear in the past. I mean, we have too, like it's something that's been considered off and on since I think the 1970s at least. But British Columbia and Manitoba both have abundant hydroelectricity, so it hasn't been there."

"Ontario has large nuclear reactors at Darlington facilities, I believe one of the largest nuclear facilities in North America, but they're looking at small modular reactors too, and they've already made the decision to go ahead with one, the same model that we're looking at," he continued. "We work closely with them, and with New Brunswick, which is also an operator of nuclear facilities, going forward here."

"We we often talk about our 2030 goals at SaskPower. We're on track to reduce our emissions 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and that remains the case that we're on track there, and for example, we decided another solar facility."

Cherry said if they do decide to go down the SMR road, they won't come into play until well into the 2030s.

"So we wouldn't make a decision on whether or not to proceed until 2029, and you wouldn't have a reactor actually operational in the province until the mid 2030s," he noted. "So that's looking a bit further out. We do want to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. We're looking at at 2050. Small modular reactors are definitely one potential tool that could help us get there. But we're looking at all the different options that are available to us to continue to provide reliable power while reducing our emissions."

He said the thing about wind and solar is they're clean and they don't produce any emissions, but they're not able to operate all the times, as they need adequate wind and sunlight to actually operate, which is why SMRs would be a great way to back up the power generation.
The upcoming engagement sessions for SMR conversations will be held:


Date: November 15

Time: 12-3 pm

Location: Legion



Date: November 15

Time: 5-8 pm

Location: Legion



Date: November 16

Times: 12-3 pm and 5-8 pm

Location: Elks Club



Date: November 17

Time: 12-3 pm

Location: Legion



Date: November 17

Time: 6-8 pm

Date: November 18

Time: 10 am-12 pm

Location for both: Memorial Hall