Ensuring a Safe and Reliable Low-Carbon Energy Supply: Small Modular Reactors


As Canada’s energy demand increases against the backdrop of the fight against climate change, nuclear power has a critical role to play as a reliable supplier of affordable clean energy alongside more variable renewables such as wind and solar. Small modular reactors (SMRs) are a key technology to rapidly and safely increase access to nuclear energy both in Canada and globally. Join us in this blog post as we explore the importance of SMRs to Canada’s low-carbon energy future and how SciWise radiation monitoring and waste management solutions can help support nuclear power plants embracing SMR technology.

Why SMRs?

SMRs are advanced nuclear reactors with a power capability of below 300 megawatts of electricity, about a third that of a traditional nuclear power reactor, and a footprint only a fraction of the size. They are manufactured as prefabricated self-contained units that are then shipped and installed onsite. This offers savings in construction time, allows them to be installed on sites that could not accommodate a larger conventional nuclear power plant, including remote areas, and to be combined together to scale up energy production incrementally as demand increases. SMRs are also designed to be operated safely with minimal human intervention. Power plants based on SMRs may require less frequent and less costly refueling and offer increased safety due to passive safety systems to shut down in case of emergency.

SMRs in Canada

Federal and provincial governments are working together to make Canada a leader in rolling out SMR technology as an important component of ambitious goals for a clean energy future. Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, which collectively represent 85% of Canada’s total electricity generation from fossil fuels, are actively advancing the deployment of SMR technology to decarbonize energy production. To date, plans include a fleet of four BWRX-300 SMR units at Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington site, expected to power 1.2 million homes by the mid-2030s, two advanced ARC-100 SMR reactors being developed to deploy at New Brunswick Power’s Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station by the early 2030s, and the development of a new class of micro-SMRs to replace diesel in remote communities.

Comprehensive Support for Nuclear Power Plants Embracing SMR Technology

As Canada seeks to be a global leader in SMR technology and deployment, SciWise is there to help nuclear power plant operators with our state-of-the-art expertise and radiation detection technology to address safety, compliance and operational challenges with monitoring and performance optimization.

Our expertise and cutting-edge technologies enable us to offer a wide range of services, including radiation measurements, data analysis, and risk assessments. Our sophisticated instruments, such as gamma Geiger Muller (GM), scintillation detectors, and Sodium Iodide (NaI), enable accurate and precise measurements of radiation levels. We work closely with industries, regulatory bodies, and research institutions to help provide innovative technologies never seen before in Canada to help address their application requirements. With our state-of-the-art equipment and experienced team, we deliver accurate and reliable results, enabling informed decision-making and proactive management of radiation-related risks, including waste management.

SciWise offers technology solutions for real-time surveillance and monitoring of reactor and surrounding environment, modular and customizable to diverse plant configurations. We put operational safety first with dosimeters, environmental monitors and portal monitors to support power plant operators’ strong commitments to worker safety and protecting the environment by preventing the spread of radioactive materials. Additionally, remote monitoring technologies and data analysis techniques have enhanced our ability to detect radiation on a larger scale in air, water, soil and other natural resources and provide real-time information. These technological advancements allow for continuous monitoring, early detection of anomalies, and prompt response to ensure the protection of the environment and the public, of particular importance with SMRs where operation is less reliant on human intervention, and more focused on automated systems.

Contributing to a Safe Supply of Clean Energy

State-of-the-art radiation detection and monitoring is crucial for ensuring the safe rollout and operation of leading-edge power generation technologies for a sustainable future. Through continuous monitoring and advanced technologies, we can identify potential risks, protect ecosystems, and safeguard human health. SciWise is dedicated to providing comprehensive solutions for effective radiation monitoring, helping industries and communities make informed decisions and mitigate risks. As Canada and the world embrace SMRs to help meet important climate change goals, let us work together towards a more sustainable and safer future of clean energy generation.