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Canada's Nuclear Future

Indigenous Communities Participating in Canada’s Nuclear Future

Two historic equity agreements were signed between a Mi’kmaq Tribal Council and leading advanced small modular reactor companies.

As more high intensity weather events hit Atlantic Canada, the electricity grid and infrastructure is increasingly under pressure, yet expected to remain reliable and resilient for customers.

Existing nuclear and hydro facilities are particularly important for a highly electrified New Brunswick, to meet extreme daily and seasonal demand peaks. As the province moves to meet several federal emission reduction regulations including the phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation, a secure energy system becomes critical and ever more challenging.

Investments in new generation must be made, which will come from renewable sources with battery storage along with new nuclear, such as flexible advanced small modular reactors (SMRs).

No one understands the impact of climate change more than First Nations people. And in New Brunswick, Indigenous communities are taking concrete steps to reduce reliance on carbon-emitting technology, at the same time as building a legacy for people, communities and the environment.

On September 25, 2023, the North Shore Mi’kmaq Tribal Council (NSMTC) and its seven First Nation member communities announced equity agreements with Moltex Energy Canada Inc. (Moltex) and ARC Clean Technology Canada, Inc (ARC) to share in the companies’ success in developing and deploying advanced nuclear technology in New Brunswick and around the world. 

The New Brunswick Advantage

NB Power, New Brunswick’s provincial Crown utility, is undergoing an environmental impact assessment process to install an ARC-100 advanced small modular reactor at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station.

Many jurisdictions are developing new nuclear, but New Brunswick is positioned to be a leader in large part because of its existing nuclear experience, skilled workforce and training programs. The province also has support and guidance from those who will ensure new nuclear development will be in harmony with environmental and community interests.

It is important to consider the realities of developing new nuclear. Not only will it take significant private investment and commitment from government, it will take leadership, community buy-in and economic reconciliation with First Nation communities. The historical nature of the NSMTC announcement demonstrates leadership to address the urgency necessary to transform New Brunswick’s energy system and adopt new clean technology.

Important steps like the development of a regional SMR supply chain and preparing manufacturing companies to operate in the nuclear sector, including Indigenous-led organizations, are on-the-ground activities that support New Brunswick’s bid to power the economy and the world with clean energy.

And the world is taking notice.  

Powering the world from the east coast

With a solid energy plan in support of SMRs and Indigenous economic inclusion, New Brunswick is attracting investment in the energy sector, creating jobs and growing wealth from the global energy transition to Canada’s east coast.

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