Trudeau abandons green election promises, lacks real climate plan
Put bluntly, it remains questionable whether Canada can meet the very modest Conservative 2020 GHG reduction target should the Energy East and Kinder Morgan pipelines get the green light. Worse still, the Trudeau Liberals do not have a serious plan on climate change.
The word "nuclear" does not appear in this article.Evaluation of Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Clean Electrical Power Generation (CEPG) S&T Sub-sub-Activity (PAA 126.96.36.199)
2.4 Next Generation Nuclear (Gen IV) International Context
In 2001, 10 countries (including Canada) initiated the Generation IV International Forum to collaboratively develop the next generation of nuclear energy systems to provide competitively - priced and reliable energy in a safe and sustainable way. As at June 2010, the Forum has 13 members which are signatories of its founding document, the GIF Charter. Canada, along with Argentina, Brazil, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States were the original signatories to the GIF Charter in July 2001. Subsequently, it was signed by Switzerland in 2002, Euratom in 2003, and the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation, both in 2006.
Over 100 potential nuclear reactor concepts or systems were reviewed by an international panel of experts. The panel selected six reactor types that best met the Generation IV objectives of sustainability, economics, safety and reliability, and proliferation resistance and physical protection. The six selected systems are:
- Super-Critical Water-cooled Reactor (SCWR) System;
- Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) System;
- Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor System;
- Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor System;
- Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor System; and
- Molten Salt Reactor System.
In February 2005, Canada along with four other countries signed the Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems; it is the binding international treaty that unites all participant countries to carry out the R&D needed to establish the feasibility and performance capabilities of the next generation nuclear energy systems. The GIF Framework Agreement is the mechanism by which countries may collaboratively undertake and participate in nuclear R&D in support of the GIF. To date, a total of nine countries plus the European Union have ratified the agreement. To meet these commitments, NRCan’s Gen IV National Program was initiated in January 2006.
Canada participates in the development of two GIF reactor systems: the Super Critical Water-cooled Reactor (SCWR) and the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR). The SCWR is a natural evolution of current Canadian CANDU technology (Canada has over 50 years of experience with this technology). The GIF programs present an opportunity to leverage Canada’s expertise to develop the next generation SCWR systems in a timelier manner, with low-risk and at lower cost than to undertake the initiative on its own.
Canada’s current interest in VHTR system is due in large part to the fact that the GIF’s nuclear hydrogen research takes place within the VHTR Program and thus provides an opportunity to gain access to these project findings by joining the VHTR system. Canada has a strong competitive interest in developing cost-effective new technologies for hydrogen production to support its clean energy and climate change agenda priorities. Cost-effective hydrogen production can allow for widespread use of hydrogen as a transportation fuel, an input to agricultural fertilizer, or for application in the Alberta tar sands (to upgrade bitumen to form synthetic crude oil). Nuclear hydrogen production may be achieved through VHTR processes or in lower temperature SCWR systems.
In addition to nuclear hydrogen research, Canada also participates in VHTR materials research projects when there is good alignment with the SCWR reactor design needs. Findings from GIF projects may have direct application to existing CANDU reactor systems (e.g., improved reactor materials design and safety protocols) and in other sectors (e.g., space, transportation, etc.).
The Gen IV systems are not expected to be available for commercial introduction until after 2025.