Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory have agreed an action plan to boost collaboration in energy, medical isotopes, waste management and decommissioning, while the Canadian Nuclear Association and the UK’s Nuclear Industry Association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in promoting nuclear technologies. Canada’s 19 nuclear power reactors produce 15% of the country’s electricity. The UK’s 15 nuclear power reactors, operating across eight sites, account for 21% of that country’s generation.
CNL and NNL’s action plan, announced on 4 March, includes exploring joint research projects and studies, information exchange workshops and other resource and knowledge-sharing opportunities. They have identified research related to advanced nuclear reactor fuel, targeted alpha therapy and medical isotope production and environmental remediation practices and technologies as key areas they intend to pursue in partnership.
This follows an MoU they signed in 2016 to collaborate on a variety of projects in reactor metallurgy, fuel development, waste management and medical radioisotopes.
CNL President and CEO Mark Lesinski said the new action plan will enable them to share expertise, facilities, equipment and other resources to achieve public policy goals in their respective countries. “Canada and the United Kingdom have a long history of working together to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges through nuclear science and technology, but we still have a lot to learn from one another, and I am thrilled that this tradition of collaboration will continue through this agreement,” he said.
NNL CEO Paul Howarth said the MoU had been an “excellent way” of opening links between the organisations. “However, this Action Plan takes us a big step further forward and means that we will now begin to see outputs from our collaboration which will benefit both the UK and Canada.”
The new MoU signed on 3 March by the CNA and NIA at the UK Department for International Trade’s Civil Nuclear Showcase 2020 addresses the need for greater dialogue and exploration of nuclear’s role in effective environmental stewardship, the two organisations said. It includes demonstrating nuclear power as a clean energy technology; advocating for more explicit and prominent inclusion of nuclear in energy and environmental policies; promoting the inclusion of nuclear technologies in bilateral dialogues and forums; and supporting the countries’ shared leadership in the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy (NICE) Future initiative.
CNA President and CEO John Gorman said the MoU will help accelerate the wave of innovation in nuclear energy among the two organisations’ member companies. “Nuclear energy already makes important contributions to combating climate change. To reach net-zero emissions, global cooperation at the government and industry level will be essential. This agreement between two world-class industries is a key step in that direction,” he said.
“International cooperation is critical to both the current success and the bright future of the nuclear industry,” said NIA Chief Executive Tom Greatrex. “This MoU will further strengthen ties with our Canadian partners and assist in advancing nuclear power as an essential element of clean energy solutions to address climate issues globally.”
The University of New Brunswick and Bangor University in Wales have signed a letter of intent to work together on the development of small modular reactors.
The letter of intent identifies possible areas of collaboration based upon similarities between the two institutions, the University of New Brunswick said, adding that noth universities have demonstrated leadership in nuclear research and development in their respective regions.
Civil society declaration
A group of nuclear power advocates yesterday presented the governments of Canada and the UK with a declaration calling for a high-profile nuclear presence at the UN’s climate talks in November. The presentation took place at a civil society roundtable event at the High Commission of Canada in London, which concluded that, as the second largest source of clean energy, nuclear should be represented accordingly during the upcoming COP26 meeting in Glasgow.
“In this critical decade we must expand the suite of clean energy options to include nuclear products that are cost competitive, easier to buy, easier to deliver, present lower risk to investors and can meet a broad range of market applications,” they wrote in their declaration.
Signatories included climate scientist James Hansen, President of African Women in Energy and Power Bertha Dlamini, National Secretary of Prospect Union Alan Leighton, former chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee Tim Yeo, and climate author Mark Lynas, among 31 civil society leaders from nine countries.
The declaration was presented to Shawn Tupper of Natural Resources Canada and Christopher Bowbrick of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.