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Results: 1 - 15 of 216
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Welcome to the witnesses joining us this evening.
Dr. Novog, I've obviously heard about your project at McMaster University. To be profitable, the small modular reactors will have to be produced in large quantities in order to help offset the gargantuan investments that will have to be made to launch the design and production.
Based on the information available to you, how many of these micro reactors will need to be sold to achieve profitability?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Dr. Novog.
According to your data, how many remote communities and mine developers in Canada are likely to be able to afford a modular micro reactor?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you very much.
How does the price per unit of energy of a small modular reactor, or SMR, compare with the price of mature renewable energy?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
From what I understand, there is really no fixed price per unit of energy.
I'm trying to get my head around this. We're looking at this technology. The industry is asking for tens of millions of dollars in financial support. However, we don't have any evidence that this technology will be cost‑effective, since we don't yet know the price per unit of energy.
In these circumstances, how should taxpayers and the government consider a new technology for which we do not necessarily have specific evidence?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you very much, Dr. Novog.
I also noted that McMaster University has signed on to the Canadian action plan for small modular reactors. We can find this plan on the Internet. So McMaster researchers will therefore address broader issues related to SMRs, including cost‑benefit analysis, the advantages and disadvantages. They will also look at what the use of small modular reactors means for taxpayers, both in host communities and in neighbouring regions.
I think these are all critically important issues.
Could you tell me what conclusions you've reached so far?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Mr. Hartwick, you mentioned in your opening remarks that, in order to achieve the government's net‑zero targets, it will be critical to implement and use this new technology, namely, small modular reactors currently in development.
Do you have any data to share with us on this, including the potential to achieve net‑zero through this technology?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Hartwick, there are plans to build a small modular reactor at the Darlington site, which could be connected to Canada's electricity grid.
Do you have any data to share with us on the reduction in greenhouse gases that this will represent?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Hartwick, in its record of decision issued in July 2020, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission notes that the purpose of the micro modular reactor project at the Chalk River Laboratories lacks clarity.
What are the specific purposes of this project?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Allow me to welcome the witnesses joining us for the second hour of this meeting.
My first question is for Dr. Ramana.
Dr. Ramana, thank you for joining us at this very early hour. Proponents of small modular reactors argue that they can be made more cost‑effective through economies of scale that can be achieved by mass manufacturing in plants.
During the last few meetings of this committee, we met with several stakeholders in the nuclear industry, but none of them was able to give us an idea of how many small modular reactors would have to be sold to cover the costs of their development, plant construction and approval by the relevant authorities. I know you've been looking at this issue.
Earlier, we got an answer from a representative of Ontario Power Generation, who told us that 10 to 12 would have to be sold. That's the first time we've had an estimate.
What are your comments on that?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Dr. Ramana.
I'd like to talk about another topic, the energy transition, which you mentioned in your opening remarks. Obviously, we are all concerned about climate change. It's a real threat, and it's the most serious one we must face collectively. To reverse this trend, we need to rapidly decarbonize our energy production.
Small modular nuclear reactors are still a long way from being widely commercialized and able to play an important role in the energy transition. We know that the technology is not yet mature.
Can you tell us more about that? If we really want to meet the 2050 target, should we be relying on that technology?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Dr. Ramana.
We often hear that investments in the nuclear sector would help create a lot of good jobs and in turn drive the economy.
What do you think about this?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Dr. Charbonneau, I'd like to hear your comments on the important issue of nuclear waste management.
Can you elaborate on this issue?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Why do you think the government has chosen not to subject small modular reactor projects to environmental assessments?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair. I’d like to welcome my colleagues and the witnesses with us this evening.
My questions are for you, Ms. O’Donnell. I’d like to hear more about the Moltex project, which you know well.
In March 2021, the federal government awarded $50 million to the project. It included a letter from the assistant deputy minister of Natural Resources Canada, Ms. Mollie Johnson. The letter states that the technology used by Moltex is a potential pathway to recycling spent CANDU fuel. It could provide Canadians with emission-free energy for years to come by reducing long-lived radioactive waste.
Can you tell us if there are any scientific studies to back up these claims? Did the federal government actually have scientific peer reviews done on pyrolysis technology before funding this $50 million project?
View Maxime Blanchette-Joncas Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Ms. O’Donnell.
I will now turn to the subject of non-proliferation.
As you know, Canada signed non-proliferation contracts on everything related to the nuclear sector. A prestigious panel of American nuclear non-proliferation experts, including former senior White House advisors, wrote to Mr. Marc Garneau, who was the minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, as well as to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, stating that the processing of spent fuel and recycling of plutonium was contrary to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Could you elaborate on this warning to Canada from the United States?
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