Keep science fiction (SMRs) out of the Throne Speech

Science fiction kit for kids

On Wednesday afternoon, the federal minority government will deliver its “throne speech,” outlining its plan of action for the next session of parliament.

The Throne Speech should not be science fiction: Keep Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) out!

In his September 19th CBC interview, Minister of Natural Reources Seamus O’Regan broadly hinted that small modular reactors might show up in the Throne Speech on September 23rd. A self-acknowledged fan of science fiction, Minister O’Regan should not be allowed to wield his light sabre powers over the Government of Canada’s COVID-recovery plan by diverting taxpayers dollars into private sector nuclear pipe dreams.

Here are the facts:

  • SMRs will delay climate action – 15 years to build untested technology is too long. Lower-cost, proven renewable energy exists now
  • SMRs have no business case and will require billions in public funds – not an option for our fiscal environment already strained by COVID-19
  • SMRs will create more radioactive wastes, different and in addition to what already exist. and won’t “recycle” or reduce nuclear waste stockpiles
  • an SMR “roadmap” was developed with the nuclear industry in 2018 and consultation with the public, announced for 2020, has not happened

The federal government must – at minimum – consult with Canadians and Indigenous peoples before committing large amounts of taxpayers funds to assist the private sector in developing nuclear technologies which – if ever brought to fruition – would generate radioactive waste, link Canada to a plutonium economy and weapons production, and proliferate nuclear risk to locations and communities across Canada.

Author: CRED-NB

Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick