Home » Environment » How One Company is Helping Canada Lead the Energy Transition
Lisa McBride

Lisa McBride

Country Leader, Small Modular Reactors, GE Hitachi

Cutting-edge innovations by nuclear energy leader GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy power up Canada’s leadership in carbon-free technology.

Climate change is an urgent global priority, and nuclear energy will play a major role in helping Canada and the rest of the world reach its net-zero carbon emissions goals. GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), which has more than six decades of experience designing and deploying nuclear reactor technologies, is delivering game-changing innovation with the introduction of its small modular reactor (SMR).

This technology has the potential for a wide range of applications including the generation of non-emitting reliable electricity, process heat, hydrogen production and powering remote communities. Several provinces are actively pursuing SMRs, and the first one in Canada could be operational in as early as 2028.

“We’re very excited about the potential of these reactors because the modular design allows for faster construction schedules through advancements in fabrication,” says Lisa McBride, Canada SMR Country Leader GEH. “The speed in which we can get to market enables large-scale deployment in a time that is meaningful for attaining our climate goals.”

With our nuclear operating expertise and infrastructure project experience, Canada is well-positioned to become a carbon-free technology export powerhouse.

Clean energy: helping power the world

Canada has long been a global leader in nuclear research and technology and in exporting reactor systems, but the world is at an energy turning point. Countries recognize the need for safe, clean, and reliable sources of energy that are flexible to meet diverse needs. “While Ontario and Canada are poised to support the development and deployment of SMRs, the bigger opportunity is for Canada to support the world’s energy transition,” says McBride. “With our nuclear operating expertise and infrastructure project experience, Canada is well-positioned to become a carbon-free technology export powerhouse.”

The federal government estimates that the global SMR market will be worth $150 billion annually by 2040. PwC estimates that each made-in-Canada SMR deployed globally will generate approximately $98 million in GDP for Canada and more than $45 million in total tax revenue through the purchase of nuclear fuel, machinery, and equipment.

Modular reactors: next-generation technology

Innovative SMR technology includes designs that have a combination of features that address public concerns about cost and safety. In addition, the various designs consider the needs of residents, whether in dense cities and suburban areas or in rural areas and remote areas with no access to an electric grid.

SMRs are also designed to be passively safe, utilizing natural circulation and passive cooling systems to cool themselves without power or operator action for extended periods.

McBride adds that now is the time to work with partners in government, industry, and academia who think globally to seize the opportunity that’s waiting. GEH is a leader in scaling energy innovation globally — GE technology generates 30 percent of the world’s power — and by supporting SMRs, we can play a key role in reinvigorating Canada’s post-COVID manufacturing economy.

“The nuclear future is bright for Canada, and especially Ontario,” says McBride. “Advancements of time-tested nuclear technologies are poised to bring new levels of affordable, carbon-free, and reliable energy to our homes, industries, and commercial buildings.”

Next article