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Small Modular Reactor Technology

We have a vision for the development of small modular reactors (SMR).

Much more than simply electricity generation, SMRs can be part of diverse energy system which includes district heating, co-generation, energy storage, desalination, and hydrogen production among others. These traits are particularly attractive to remote off-grid applications in northern communities or industrial sites, such as mines, where consistent, reliable and low carbon, clean energy and heat is needed.

Our Vision

CNL will help demonstrate the commercial viability of small modular reactors before 2030. CNL will support SMR clean energy and fleet development programmes in Canada through CNL-offered:

  • economic and energy performance-based feasibility studies
  • licensing and environmental assessment services
  • community and indigenous stakeholder engagement strategies
  • development and qualification support for SMR fuels and materials
  • sourcing and transport support of SMR fuel into Canada
  • irradiated fuel temporary storage and packaging strategies
  • decommissioning and environmental remediation strategies

With the SMR landscape moving forward, CNL remains open to additional proponents for SMR demonstrations and deployment support at CNL-managed sites.

Recent News

What is meant by Small Modular Reactor?


For our planning purposes, CNL considers SMRs to produce as little as several hundred kilowatts of electrical output to a maximum of 300 MW. For context, a conventional power reactor is roughly 800 MW electrical.


This refers to both the construction style (meaning produced in modules in a factory) and in how an operator may choose to sequence the reactors. In some cases, an operator may wish to install several sequentially, adding or removing as the need for power changes. Modular construction provides potential benefits in the transport, installation and decommissioning.


Again, designs vary but these are all based on nuclear technology. That said, SMRs introduce new fuels, new materials and new designs with the goal of creating safer, more cost effective and more efficient reactors than in the past.
  • Jeff Griffin

    "We continue to believe that SMRs represent the future of clean energy here in Canada, and the CNRI program is moving us closer towards this vision.”

    - Jeff Griffin, Vice-President, Science & Technology

Why Canada?

Canada has one of the world’s most promising domestic markets for SMRs. Conservative estimates place the potential value for SMRs in Canada at $5.3B between 2025 and 2040. Globally, the SMR market is much bigger, with a conservative estimated value of $150B between 2025 and 2040. This represents a large potential export market for Canada, which has already exported nuclear reactor technology to six other countries.

Canada has a window of opportunity to lead as it has all the necessary elements – a strong international brand, flexible and performance based regulator, world class nuclear laboratories and demonstration sites, a mature supply chain and domestic uranium mining industry, extensive nuclear operating experience, and strong science and technology in related areas (materials science, medicine, irradiation/sterilization, food safety).

Dive deeper into Small Modular Reactor Technology:

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