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15 new research projects to enable deployment of small modular reactors

General news Professors Alliance

May 7, 2024

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) are pleased to announce $12.7 million in funding over four years to support 15 research projects that will generate new knowledge on small modular reactors (SMRs).

These new projects, co-funded by NRCan and NSERC through NSERC’s Alliance grants program, are the result of a partnership between NSERC and NRCan in support of Canada’s Small Modular Reactor Action Plan. SMRs could be the future of Canada’s nuclear industry, with the potential to provide non-emitting energy for a wide range of applications, from grid-scale electricity generation to use in heavy industry and remote communities.

The funded projects will help address issues ranging from developing SMR waste management solutions to facilitating supply chain development for SMR manufacturing. The new knowledge generated by these projects will not only support policy and decision-making related to SMRs, but also help produce a new generation of nuclear scientists, engineers, and policy makers to solidify Canada as a leader in this field.

Learn more about the projects.

More information

  • NSERC and NRCan are co-funding the 15 research projects through NSERC’s Alliance grants program. The research projects will benefit from a total of $8.7 million in funding from NSERC, and $4 million in funding from NRCan, over four years.
  • The partnership between NSERC and NRCan supports the goals of the 2022 Federal Budget to position Canada as a clean energy leader, and of Canada’s Small Modular Reactor Action Plan released by NRCan in December of 2020. 
  • In February 2023, NRCan launched the $29.6 million Enabling Small Modular Reactors Program to fund research and development to develop supply chains for SMR manufacturing (including fuel supply) and help address waste generated from SMRs.
  • As part of the 2022 Federal Budget, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) was awarded $15 million to partner with NSERC to fund research which will support the effective regulation and regulatory oversight of SMRs.
  • In June 2023, NSERC and the CNSC announced $9.4 million over three years, to support 29 research projects through the first phase of the NSERC-CNSC Small Modular Reactors Research Grant Initiative. The second phase will include a second funding call in 2025 to either extend existing projects and/or fund new projects for a two-year duration.

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