ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2023 - 15

feature
REACTOR DESIGNS COME IN ALL SIZES, OFFERING UP A RANGE OF POWER OUTPUTS
LARGE, CONVENTIONAL
REACTOR
700+ MW(e)
SMALL MODULAR REACTOR
Up to 300 MW(e)
MICROREACTOR
Up to ~ 10 MW(e)
While neither scenario is probable, Fallout encapsulates
a common question: Should we move further into nuclear
energy? Canada and many countries already have nuclear
power generation, so the scaffolding already exists to a
sizeable extent. About 15 per cent of Canada's power mix is
nuclear, with 13.6 gigawatt electrical (GWe) of power capacity
coming from the 19 reactors mostly out of Ontario.
The bulk of those nuclear plants look like what most of us
picture: several massive concrete cooling towers dotted
around one long, thin smokestack. Think Springfield, USA,
without the three-eyed fish.
LIKE ANY ENERGY SYSTEM, though,
the mechanisms for delivering nuclear
power are evolving - shrinking. The
newer, smaller means of getting
electricity via nuclear fission are drawing
attention back to further development of
atomic power. These newer designs are
called small modular nuclear reactors
(SMNR or SMR) and in recent years
they've stirred interest across Canada.
Modular reactors are a fraction of the scale of existing power
plants, producing around 300 Mw to the conventional plant's
roughly one gigawatt. That much juice is still able to power
300,000 homes if applied residentially. Adding to that, its
size makes it theoretically much simpler to construct than
a conventional plant. As the word modular suggests, their
parts can be transported from one spot to another, offering
a much wider range of locations for construction.
There's also a financial incentive for SMRs to the tune of
billions of dollars a year. According to a report on Canada's
SMR plans from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
shared by Alberta Innovates, SMRs could yield up to $19
billion annually in total economic impact between 203040.
6,000 jobs a year could be created through SMR development
and operation.
Technically, the most common small reactor design works
by using thermal energy to generate electricity, like its bigger
brother (with variations of fuel types, materials and designs).
That heat comes from the process of fission, whereby
uranium absorbs neutrons, splitting off atoms. Water is
turned to steam by the heat from this process. The steam
then spins a turbine, generating electricity.
The Governments of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and
most recently Alberta have decided that SMRs could be the
key, or at least a vital piece, in solving some of the most crucial
energy concerns of today. Part of that optimism comes
from nuclear fission's ability to generate electricity without
the CO2, NO2 and other emissions so damaging to our environment.
The
report from NRCan points to information from the International
Energy Agency indicating agreement with atomic
solutions to combat climate change, stating that moving
away from nuclear power generation (specifically by retiring
nuclear plants) would make it far more difficult to reach
global Paris Climate Accord commitments to emissions reduction.
The paycheck would have over a dozen more zeros
at the end without nuclear development. To meet the
world's emissions reductions targets without nuclear would
cost an additional $1.6 trillion US, a number drummed up
from development of alternative energy infrastructure, the
IEA reports.
TECHNOLOGY ALBERTA | WINTER 2023 | 15
https://albertainnovates.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/AI-SMR-Leanring-Series-Session-One-NRCan-Action-Plan.pdf https://world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-a-f/canada-nuclear-power.aspx https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/ad5a93ce-3a7f-461d-a441-8a05b7601887/Nuclear_Power_in_a_Clean_Energy_System.pdf https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/ad5a93ce-3a7f-461d-a441-8a05b7601887/Nuclear_Power_in_a_Clean_Energy_System.pdf

ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2023

Contents
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2023 - Cover
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2023 - 2
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2023 - 3
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2023 - Contents
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2023 - 5
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ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2023 - Cover2
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https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_dec2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/aset55anniversary
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2018
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https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2015
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