Paper Profile

Future of Nuclear R&D in Canada

Documents: Full paper available in Conference Proceedings.
Date: Monday October 19
Time:08:30 - 09:00
Session:Plenary Session I
Authors: Rick Didsbury (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)

Nuclear R&D started more than 70 years ago has led to establishment of successful nuclear industry and placed Canada among the ranks of Tier 1 nuclear nations with a full spectrum of capabilities and resources in nuclear technology. Recently, Canada’s nuclear industry leaders endorsed a 25-year vision that sees Canada thriving as a Tier 1 nation; aligned, integrated trusted, and working collaboratively to deliver innovative, life-enhancing solutions for Canada and the world. The leaders have committed to realizing this longer-term vision through several actions including, commitment to support a strong Canadian nuclear science, technology and innovation agenda.

Nuclear R&D in Canada will be largely informed and influenced by the international and domestic nuclear landscapes. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognizes the need for nuclear in stabilizing atmospheric carbon in ever growing demand for energy. In several industrialized and developing nations, new fleets of reactors are being built; with over 200 planned new constructions. International agencies and intergovernmental forums are engaged in several new collaborative initiatives including closing the back end of the fuel cycle, development of next generation safer and more efficient and small-modular reactor systems, improving nuclear safeguards and security measures, development of non-power applications, management of nuclear waste, reducing radiological exposures and responding to emergencies. Domestically, although there is no plan for a new build in the near- or medium-term, Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan calls for maintaining nuclear contribution constant in the overall energy mix and the successful refurbishments will be a key to maintaining this mix. The Government has also undertaken restructuring of AECL to position the nuclear industry for success. There are potential opportunities for CANDU supply chain in the international market. The prototype reactors and aged infrastructure will be decommissioned. A responsible and appropriate adaptive phased management approach exists for long-term management of used fuel. The changes in nuclear paradigm globally and in Canada, and the associated risks and opportunities will inform the nuclear R&D in Canada. It will also be influenced by what it wants to achieve for its key stakeholders, namely the nuclear industry, the Government and the society.

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