Westinghouse eVinci microreactor. Westinghouse/YouTube

On June 6, the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) and Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a framework for collaboration regarding the applications of microreactors in the MLTC’s communities.

“The knowledge and expertise gained from SRC’s initial microreactor project will be shared with our Indigenous communities and organizations to help them evaluate whether this technology has applications that can help them meet their unique edge-of-grid power needs and industrial clean energy requirements,” Minister Responsible for SRC Jeremy Harrison said. “Developing microreactors in Saskatchewan will have a huge impact on the provincial economy, creating social and economic opportunities.”

 

In November 2023, the Government of Saskatchewan announced $80 million in funding for SRC to pursue licensing and commercial deployment of a microreactor. SRC will apply the research and knowledge gained from the operation of that microreactor to help pave the way for future microreactor projects. That reactor is the Westinghouse eVinci, as shown in this Westinghouse video. Notably, within the last year, Saskatoon-based Cameco closed its acquisition of 49 per cent of Westinghouse.

 

“The Meadow Lake Tribal Council is pleased to commence work alongside SRC in exploring new clean energy technologies,” MLTC Tribal Chief Richard Ben said. “Specifically, our joint effort evaluating how microreactor technology may assist our rural and remote Saskatchewan First Nation communities. Through this collaboration with SRC, MLTC hopes to gain a better understanding of nuclear energy technology and deployment options in addressing long standing issues related to reliable and affordable heat and power in northern communities.”

“Microreactors may be a good fit for northern Indigenous industries and communities who are looking for reliable heat and power,” SRC President and CEO Mike Crabtree said. “Through this collaboration with Meadow Lake Tribal Council, SRC will look to build relationships around potential applications and future microreactor deployments in Saskatchewan.”

MLTC works as an advocate for nine Saskatchewan First Nations to help reach their full potential by delivering programs and services. The nine first nations under the MLTC include Birch Narrows Dene Nation, Buffalo River Dene Nation, Canoe Lake Dene Nation, Clearwater River Dene Nation, English River First Nation, Flying Dust First Nation, Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation, Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation and Waterhen Lake First Nation. MLTC Industrial Investments LP (MLTCII) exists to create successful economic development through business investment that will generate wealth, opportunity, health and prosperity for their shareholders – the nine First Nations of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council.

SRC safely operated a SLOWPOKE-2 nuclear reactor for 38 years before decommissioning it in 2021. For more information, visit www.srcnuclear.ca.

 

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