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SaskPower, Westinghouse and Cameco strike agreement to explore nuclear future in Sask.

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Saskatoon-based uranium miner Cameco and its affiliate Westinghouse Electric have signed an agreement with SaskPower vowing to evaluate the potential of nuclear power and its associated supply chain in Saskatchewan.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) will explore the “technical and commercial pathways” to deploy Westinghouse reactors for long-term electricity supply planning in Saskatchewan. This will include evaluating a Saskatchewan-based nuclear supply chain — including fuel.

Cameco owns a 49 per cent share of Westinghouse, following an acquisition deal in November.

The MOU will also identify opportunities to collaborate on nuclear research and training with Saskatchewan’s post-secondary institutions.

“Leveraging knowledge from organizations that have significant expertise in the nuclear industry is critical to ensure we make responsible, informed decisions around our power future,” SaskPower’s President and CEO Rupen Pandya said in the announcement.

“Collaborating on nuclear fuel supply and evaluating various technologies will only serve to enhance our current small modular reactor development work and planning around workforce and the future of Saskatchewan’s power system.”

The announcement comes as the Canadian Nuclear Society (CNS) holds its annual meeting in Saskatoon, where approximately 400 visitors from across the globe meet to discuss issues in the realm of nuclear power.

The theme of this year’s event is new nuclear power and exploring pathways to securing a clean energy future — a topic that certainly applies to the province, according to Dr. Neil Alexander, who serves as the Communications Director for CNS.

“Saskatchewan is set to become one of the first jurisdictions to go nuclear from having no nuclear power and that hasn't been done for quite a long time. So we have people visiting from across the world. Interested in what Saskatchewan is doing and the leadership role that it is taking,” he said.

Among the attendees at the conference were representatives of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI), and First Nation chiefs.

“As well as the delegates to the conference, we're bringing people into Saskatoon to talk about all of these other issues and make progress there as well,” Alexander explained.

The conference is also set to host an announcement concerning the Saskatchewan Mining Association and the Canadian Nuclear Association.

Saskatchewan is currently in the process of determining if it will build a Small Modular Reactor (SMR). The final determination will be made in 2029.

As part of the development process, SaskPower has identified two locations near Estevan as the front-runners for potential sites for a small nuclear power plant.

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