Back To Top
March 22, 2018

Canadian Small Modular Reactor deployment to be featured at international SMR gathering

Dedicated Canada Track at the 2018 International SMR and Advanced Reactor Summit
CNL roundtable to include SMR vendors, developers, government officials and customers

Chalk River, ON, March 22, 2018 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, announced today that it will be leading two discussions on small modular reactor (SMR) technology as part of the 2018 International SMR and Advanced Reactor Summit in Atlanta, Georgia on March 27, 2018.  Organized by Nuclear Energy Insider (NEI), the annual summit will bring together the world’s leading technology developers, vendors, research organizations and supply chain members to move these promising technologies closer towards deployment.

CNL will host NEI’s first ever Canada Track with SMR vendors, utilities and government officials in parallel with a U.S. Track.  CNL will also host an invitation-only roundtable with 16 vendors of SMR technology from five countries with Canadian utility and remote community customers as well as government representatives.  The roundtable discussion will focus on the pending announcement of CNL’s SMR siting application process and market opportunities for SMRs in Canada.  CNL’s Vendor Roundtable is a continuation of a series of meetings with respondents to CNL’s recent Request for Expressions of Interest.

Interest in SMR technology continues to grow worldwide, with Canada gaining international attention for its pursuit of this clean, safe technology. As one of seven strategic initiatives identified by CNL in the organization’s Long Term Plan, SMRs hold great promise in solving many major environmental and energy challenges.

“Our vision is twofold. First, we intend to be a world-leader in SMR research and technology; and second, we plan to have at least one demonstration unit built on a CNL site before 2030,” commented Dr. Corey McDaniel, Vice-President of Business Development at CNL.

Dr. Kathryn McCarthy, Vice-President of Research and Development added that “with a domestic need for this technology, mature and robust regulatory programs, and fully-equipped laboratories to support such a project, CNL is uniquely positioned to support an SMR industry, from concept to deployment.”

As a low-carbon source of energy, small modular reactors are well-aligned with global desire to reduce our carbon footprint; both smaller in size and in energy output. SMRs are considered ideal for deployment both on-grid and off-grid in remote locations such as mine sites or the oil sands, as well as willing communities in northern Canada reliant on diesel-fueled generators for electricity. In addition, these technologies can also be utilized in other industrial applications such as production of hydrogen, local area heating, or process heating systems.

Increasingly over the past decade, SMRs have also been recognized as a potential alternative to large-scale nuclear reactors. They offer several advantages over traditional technologies, including a reduced size and power output better suited for some applications; the ability to purchase and construct in a modular way, which decreases up-front capital costs; simpler, less complex plants; and a reduced staff complement. SMRs retain the positive attributes of traditional nuclear reactors, including the safe and reliable production of energy with limited emission of greenhouse gasses. There are many different SMR concepts, ranging from technologically mature advancements of today’s water-cooled reactors, to more advanced reactors based on Generation IV nuclear technologies.

CNL’s Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI), which launched last year, generated over 80 responses from across the globe, with 19 expressions of interest for a demonstration SMR to be located at CNL-managed site.  The document also demonstrated clear interest from the global SMR community in growing the technology here in Canada.  Participants cited several factors including CNL’s licensed sites and its capabilities, but also the mature nuclear supply chain and the associated science and technology capabilities of Canada’s universities and research organizations. The strength and integrity of Canada’s regulator and attendant regulatory regime was another reoccurring theme in the RFEOI responses.

In the coming weeks, CNL will open an application process for those SMR technology developers interested in siting a demonstration unit at a CNL-managed site. More information on CNL’s SMR program will be discussed at the summit.

“Interest in our capabilities continues to grow, and with the upcoming announcement of CNL’s SMR siting application process we are making preparations for what promises to be an exciting 2018,” commented Mark Lesinski, President & CEO, and scheduled plenary speaker at the coming summit. “Our capabilities are evolving to meet the needs of our customers, and we are undertaking cutting-edge research into a wide range of SMR-related fields. Ultimately, we intend to be a recognized global hub for SMRs, where multiple technologies are built and tested, drawing support from a strong team of experienced world-class professionals.”

About CNL

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.

With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.

For more information on the complete range of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories services, please visit or contact



Philip Kompass
Section Head, Corporate Communications, CNL

Recent News