In recent years, novel reactor technologies, commonly referred to as small modular reactors (SMRs), have emerged that can supply power to electrical grids or to remote, off-grid areas. Although they vary in size, SMRs are typically smaller than conventional nuclear reactors and are designed to be manufactured at a plant and then transported to a site to be installed. As such they are expected to be cheaper to build, scalable to meet specific industrial and remote community needs and provide a reliable source of clean energy.
Because remote communities are a promising setting for SMRs, early inclusion of Indigenous peoples is essential to their eventual social acceptance and successful implementation. In Canada, Indigenous communities are already engaged across the nuclear supply chain, from uranium mining to conventional reactor siting to nuclear waste management. An opportunity exists for SMRs to provide added economic opportunity, environmental alignment and energy security for Indigenous communities if done correctly.
This webinar brought together a panel of Indigenous voices to explore the current status of Indigenous engagement in Canada’s nuclear renaissance, discuss concerns that still need to be addressed, and identify economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples in the burgeoning sector.