Event summary produced by The Globe and Mail Events team. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.
As urgency around climate action continues to build, Canada and other nations are becoming more attuned to the role of nuclear energy in curbing emissions. Provinces such as Ontario are investing in new nuclear development and interest is growing in small modular reactors for industry and to shift remote communities off diesel.
What does all the new interest and investments in nuclear mean for Canada? The Globe and Mail hosted a half-day event on October 20 to bring energy leaders and experts together to discuss the future of nuclear energy.
Missed the live event or would like to view it again? See the video player below
Ryan MacDonald, senior editor of climate, environment and resources with The Globe and Mail, opened the event and followed with a panel discussion among energy generators and nuclear leaders. The panel included:
- James Scongack, executive vice president and chief development officer with Bruce Power
- Nicolle Butcher, chief operations officer with Ontario Power Generation
- Gary Rose, executive vice president, Nuclear Canada with AtkinsRéalis, and president and CEO of Candu Energy Inc.
The group discussed new nuclear investments, the future of Candu, waste management strategies, along with public and Indigenous engagement. They also talked about strategies to develop the skills and knowledge the industry will need for the future.
Following the panel Sierra Bein, editor of The Globe and Mail’s climate change newsletter, hosted Peter Lang, founder of Dunedin Energy Systems Ltd., and Madeleine Redfern, chief operating officer of CanArctic Inuit Networks Inc., for an interview on micro-reactors and their potential to transition northern communities off diesel energy.
Ms. Redfern noted the high costs of diesel both for communities and individuals. Mr. Lang talked about micro-reactor technology and logistics, along with the benefits of reduced soot and transportation emissions possible with replacing diesel fuel.
Ms. Bein then shifted to a discussion on technology and innovation featuring John MacQuarrie, president of BWX Technologies Inc. and Allison Macfarlane, professor and director of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs with UBC.
Mr. MacQuarrie talked about how demand is shifting for various types of nuclear technology inputs and supplies, and commented on the importance of Canada’s nuclear supply chain and skills capacity in the nation’s energy systems.
Ms. Macfarlane noted small modular reactors are being put forward as an innovative approach to nuclear energy, but their costs and timelines haven’t yet been sufficiently validated in the real world.
The event concluded with a panel discussion focused on Canada’s nuclear energy policies, waste management and community engagement, economic reconciliation and the public’s knowledge and acceptance of nuclear energy. The panel included:
- Christine John, senior manager of Indigenous relations with Ontario Power Generation
- Laurie Swami, president and CEO of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization
- Mark Winfield, professor of environmental and urban change with York University
- Martin Hrobsky, senior vice president with Ipsos.
Watch the full replay, below.
The Globe and Mail presented the event with sponsor support from OPG, Bruce Power, AtkinsRéalis, BWXT Canada, Dunedin Energy Systems Ltd., LiUNA, SIMSA, WSP, and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). To learn about upcoming Globe and Mail events see: www.globeandmail.com/events