Did you know that Canada currently gets about 82% of its electricity demand from non-emission sources? Around 60% of generation is accounted for by hydro, while nuclear power in Canada generates about 15%, respectively. A remaining 7% is made up by other non-hydro renewables.
In other words, nuclear power is a critical part of our country’s energy mix. Not many are that familiar with Canada’s nuclear energy industry, which accounted for about 4% of global nuclear power production in 2018 (ranked 6th) in a country that has roughly 0.5% of the world’s population.
Here’s 20 interesting facts on nuclear power in Canada that should bring you up to speed on one of the most important sources of electricity in our country. Also see:
#1 - Nuclear energy accounts for 15% of Canada’s total electricity demand (NRC).
#2 – Of nuclear power capable nations, Canada ranks 6th globally for nuclear power generation (4%) and consumption (3.7%) (NRC, Statista).
#3 – Today, 19 of 22 nuclear power reactors built in Canada are operational and located at multiple stations including (CNSC):
- Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, Ontario
- Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, Ontario
- Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, Ontario
- Point Lepreau Generating Station, New Brunswick
#4 - Ontario is home to 18 of 19 Canada’s operational nuclear power plants, with one other in New Brunswick (NRC).
#5 - Ontario gets nearly 59% of its provincial electricity supply from nuclear power (NRC).
#6 - Nuclear power accounts for 36.1% of New Brunswick’s electricity supply (NRC).
#7 – Located in Bruce Country, Ontario, Canada, Bruce Power is the 2nd largest nuclear power plant by electric generation capacity in the world with a capacity of 6,430 megawatts (MW) (NRC).
#8 - More than $6 billion in revenues are generated by the nuclear power industry in Canada ever year (including the value of electricity produced and exported uranium). These figures do not account for the environmental and health benefits of nuclear tech (NRC).
#9 - Approximately $1.5 billion in taxes are generated for federal and provincial governments by nuclear power in Canada annually (NRC).
#10 - Nuclear energy in Canada is responsible for supporting and creating over 21,000 direct jobs, and more than 50,000 indirectly (World Nuclear Association).
#11 – The CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) is a pressurized heavy-water design reactor that was first developed in the late 1950s. Today, 24 of these reactors have been built in Canada, as well as in South Korea (4), China (2), Romania (2), Pakistan (2), and Argentina (1) (NRC).
#12 - India, one of the world’s most populous countries, is home to 13 ‘Candu derivative’ nuclear reactors, with more under construction
#13 - Canada has been a world-leader in nuclear technology for several years, exporting CANDU reactor systems and supplying the world with a high proportion of its radioisotopes used in cancer therapy and medical diagnosis (World Nuclear Association).
#14 - Canada typically supplies 75% of the world’s stock of Cobalt-60 which is used to sterilize nearly half of the globes single-use medical supplies (NRC).
#15 - From 2005 to 2016, total nuclear generation in Canada increased by 10% - with no new plants built during this time (CER).
#16 - Nuclear power plants in Canada have been producing commercial electricity since the early 1960s (CER).
#17 - A handful of provincial premiers are considering small modular reactors (SMRs) as an efficient, non-emission source of power in the years ahead. Such reactors can help to move away from non-renewable energy sources like coal and reduce carbon emissions in the process (CNSC, CBC).
#18 - With the development of small modular reactors in various provinces would come 6,000 new permanent jobs and up to $10 billion added to the national economy between 2030 and 2040 (Financial Post).
#19 - Canada could potentially export SMR technology products and know-how to the world with a projected value of $150 billion per year from 2030 to 2040 (Financial Post).
#20 - Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Nova Scotia are home to several nuclear reactors which are either in some phase of the shut-down process or have been decommissioned fully (CNSC).
Nuclear Energy is Clean, Safe and Reliable
Nuclear energy in Canada is without a doubt an important part of our country’s plan to for a low-carbon future. Next to hydropower, it’s the largest source of low-carbon electricity globally and is one of the cleanest generating technologies available to-date.
Canadians across the country should be proud of our accomplishments in regards to nuclear technology and research. We should also be enthusiastic about our perfect safety record, with zero fatalities from radiation exposure at power plants or waste facilities in over 50 years of using the technology for electricity generation.
Nuclear power stations also work day-in and day-out, seven days a week. They provide clean, safe, and reliable electricity year-round. The potential development of small modular reactors in provinces like Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick will not only act to lower emissions, but also bring about tangible economic benefits for local communities and generate revenues for various levels of governments.
We support clean technology like nuclear power in Canada for all the aforementioned reasons, and so should you!