New Nuclear Reactors Could Give Canada $28.7 Billion Economic Boost: REPORT

nuclear reactors to generate 28.7 billion in economic activity for Canadians report cover

Westinghouse Electric Company, a global leader in nuclear technologies, has released a report showcasing the significant benefits that would come with the deployment of AP1000® nuclear reactors in Ontario.

The study follows a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between Westinghouse and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in November 2023. In it, the organizations agreed to establish a framework to examine potential areas of cooperation for deploying nuclear technologies in the province [1].

The manufacturing, engineering, and construction of the four units could generate more than $28.7 billion in economic activity (gross domestic product, or GDP) for Canada and over 125,000 person-years of employment, according to the report.

Once operational, the reactors would generate an extra $8.1 billion in GDP and support more than 12,000 jobs annually.

“Our globally-deployed AP1000 reactor fleet is a licensed and proven technology that provides exceptional availability and economics across the world,” said David Durham, President of Westinghouse Energy Systems, via a Westinghouse Media Release.

“This report highlights that our technology and company – with strategic investments, a growing employee base and Canadian ownership – is well suited to meet Canada’s energy needs for generations to come.”

A single AP1000® unit can power more than 750,000 homes annually, while a four-unit facility could power at least three million homes.

Report Highlights

four new nuclear reactors from Westinghouse AP1000 models in Ontario could further reduce global emissions by the equivalent of 6-7 million cars

The construction of four AP1000® reactors in Ontario, adding roughly 4,800 megawatts (MW) of nuclear power capacity, could generate:

$28.7 billion in economic activity

125,000 person-years of employment

• $15.7 billion in labour income

$7.1 billion in tax revenues

• Once operational, the four reactors would underpin an additional $8.1 billion in economic activity and 12,000 jobs per annum.

• During a minimum operating period of 60 years, the cumulative undiscounted economic footprint is estimated to be $485.3 billion in GDP, 712,000 person-years of employment, $103.3 billion in labour income, and $120.6 billion in total taxes in Canada.

• Using the Canadian supply chain to procure inputs for future AP1000® developments globally could create an additional $880 million of GDP impact, 3,900 person-years of employment, $480 million total labour income, and $220 million total taxes in Canada for each unit installed abroad.

• The AP1000® reactors in Ontario could cut 28 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions relative to using fossil fuels, equivalent to removing six million cars from the road.

• The AP1000® reactors would supplement the electricity needs of more than three million homes.

• Westinghouse is committed to safety, and its technology is already safely used in 430 reactors globally—about half of the world’s nuclear power stations.

• Nuclear electricity in Canada displaces about 50 million tonnes of GHG emissions annually, equivalent to removing 10.7 million passenger vehicles off the road.

Growing Electricity Demand

According to Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), demand for clean, reliable baseload power will rise significantly in the coming years, potentially doubling by 2050 [2]. To meet this demand, an additional 18,000 MW of new nuclear capacity will be needed within the next three decades.

"There is no credible path to net zero, and to reliably meeting increasing clean electricity demand related to rapid electrification, without nuclear power," said OPG President and CEO Ken Hartwick in the November 2023 MOU.

Like in Ontario, demand for electricity in Canada is also projected to double over the next 25 years [3].

The reliability of nuclear power is invaluable; it works day and night, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It also helps stabilize electricity prices, which is critical for Canadian homeowners and businesses [4].

Canada is a Global Leader in Nuclear Power

nuclear electricity in Canada displaces 10.7 million passenger cars off the world's roads permanently

Nuclear power is one of the cleanest and safest forms of electricity generation worldwide. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAAA), it is instrumental to achieving global net zero goals.

Canada’s existing leadership in everything nuclear makes it an ideal place to develop new facilities in addition to the exploration of small modular reactors (SMRs) to help supplement our growing energy needs.

As the sixth-largest nuclear-generating country and second-largest uranium producer globally, Canada is an established leader in nuclear technologies and supply chains. Today, Canada has 19 reactors, 18 in Ontario and 1 in New Brunswick, which generate roughly 15 percent of the country’s electricity supply [5].

The nuclear sector stands as a significant economic contributor, supporting 76,000 direct and indirect jobs and adding more than $17 billion to the Canadian economy every year [5]. With the construction of four AP1000® units in Ontario, the industry would be poised to become an even larger source of employment opportunities and tax revenues for Canadian businesses and families.

The benefits of developing new nuclear technologies in Canada are obvious. From the employment opportunities for families to lowering global emissions, it is an opportunity we should not say “no” to if we’re serious about balancing a strong economy with a healthy environment.


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