Canada’s nuclear industry

  • Canada: 60 years in nuclear; Nobel Prize in Physics—1994: Dr. Bert Brockhouse.
  • Nuclear energy in Canada is for peaceful purposes: used only in electricity generation, medicine, agriculture, research and manufacturing.
  • Nuclear energy is a $6.6 bilion/year industry generating $1.5 billion in federal and provincial revenues through taxes: 21,000 direct jobs, 10,000 indirect jobs (contractors to the industry) plus 40,000 spin-off jobs, 150 firms and $1.2 billion in exports (Source: Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) 2008).
  • In 2007: 22 CANDU Reactors—18 in service generating 14.6% of the country’s electricity, cleanly and safely, in Ontario (51%), New Brunswick (30%) and Québec (3%).
  • On March 31, 2008, Point Lepreau in New Brunswick began an 18-month refurbishment and will return to service in fall of 2009.
  • In 2007 in Ontario: 20 reactors—16 in service providing 51% of the province’s electricity (12,024 MW (Gross) of installed electrical capacity) (Source: CANDU Owners Group (COG)/Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) Performance Indicators).
  • Canada has operated CANDU nuclear power reactors safely for 46 years.
  • Canada has the world’s largest known high-grade natural uranium deposits in Saskatchewan.
  • Canada provides over half of the global supply of medical isotopes for nuclear medicine used in 60,000 procedures per day, 5,000 in Canada.
  • Canada supplies 75% of the world’s cobalt-60 used to sterilize 45% of the world’s single-use medical supplies.
  • The total amount of used nuclear fuel produced in 46 years from nuclear power plants in Canada would fill five hockey rinks up to the height of the boards.
Canada is the world leader in Uranium
  • Canada is the world’s largest producer of natural uranium providing 22% of total world production from its Saskatchewan mines in 2007.
  • Canadian uranium is used exclusively for the generation of electricity at nuclear power plants with end use strictly enforced by international non-proliferation agreements and export restrictions.
  • The two major uranium mining companies in Canada are Cameco Corporation and AREVA Resources Canada Inc.
  • Electricity generated from Canadian uranium worldwide avoids more than 650 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually (Sources: Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) & World Nuclear Association (WNA) 2008).
  • Uranium is a metal, common and abundant in nature, found in most rocks, soil, rivers, oceans, food and the human body. It is a unique element because of its potential to generate huge amounts of energy.
  • Over the last four decades, uranium has been an important Canadian energy resource used in nuclear power reactors for the production of clean electricity.
  • Saskatchewan’s uranium reserves contain about four times more energy than all known Canadian conventional oil reserves (not including the Athabasca tar sands).

Nuclear Facts—Ontario

  • In 2007, electricity in Ontario was generated from nuclear (51%), hydro (21%), coal (18%), oil and natural gas (8%) and other alternative sources (2%).
  • By 2020, Ontario will need to replace about 80% of its electrical generation (25,000 MW) because of growth in demand and aging plants, about half of which are nuclear.
  • Load growth1997-2007—Ontario’s electricity demand has increased from 146 TWh to 154 TWh over the last decade – less than 1.0% per year and by average 0.5 % per year (Source: Independent Electricity System Operator [IESO]).
  • In 2007, Ontarians electricity consumption was 152 TWh an increase of one TWh from 2006.
  • By 2015, by refurbishing existing nuclear capacity, Ontario will ensure 14,890 MW of electrical generation.
  • By 2015, by not replacing existing nuclear capacity through refurbishment or new nuclear construction, Ontario would be left with only 5,900 MW of nuclear capacity.
  • Bruce Power is refurbishing Bruce A (ON) Units 1 & 2 (805 MW each) with a return to service date 2009-2010 and will refurbish Bruce A Units 3 & 4 at the completion of 1 & 2.
  • The top two performing nuclear reactors in Ontario in 2007 were: Bruce 7 (872MW) with 97.2 % performance and Darlington 1 (935 MW) with 96.7% performance.
  • In 2006, Ontario Power Generation and Bruce Power began the environmental assessment process for new nuclear construction.
  • March 7, 2008, the Government of Ontario began the process to review available nuclear technologies to bring on replacement nuclear generation.
  • The cost of building new nuclear capacity is competitive with coal and natural gas generation (Source: Canadian Energy Research Institute, 2006).

The CNA has compiled a truly impressive amount of "quick facts", especially about nuclear energy in Canada.

Please visit the CNA website to learn more:

© Canadian Nuclear Association