Emission and economic implications for Canada of using small modular reactors (SMRs) in heavy industry

March, 2021


Navius Research, the Canadian Nuclear Association and EnviroEconomics conducted an analysis of the economic and climate implications of employing small modular reactors (SMRs) in Canada’s high-emitting industrial sectors. These sectors include oil sands, chemical manufacturing and mining, which currently contribute more than 30 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and face enormous challenges in reducing them. This analysis explored a variety of cost and technical assumptions for deploying SMRs, which are currently in the research and development phase.


  • Across the range of cost and technical feasibility assumptions tested, SMRs delivered low-cost emission reductions, reducing the cost of getting to net zero emissions as a nation by more than 5%.
  • With deployments set to begin as early as 2026, SMRs could be widespread by 2035. Between 2035 and 2050, SMRs could reduce GHG emissions by 216 Mt in the industrial sector.
  • SMRs could contribute to getting to net zero by reducing GHG emissions by 14 Mt per year on average, the equivalent of taking over three million cars off the road each year in Canada.

Click above to download the Executive Summary. For the full report, click here.

Download the report. 

This study was commissioned and funded by the Canadian Nuclear Industry SMR Secretariat.

To learn more about this research, please contact us.

Other Research