SaskPower has released a report on some of the input they've received from the communities of Elbow and Estevan, where a Small Modular Reactor may be placed in the future.
The two communities have been hosting events for a while on the potential construction, as both have some ideal characteristics for the new technology.
Those events had residents sharing some of their concerns and hopes for what an SMR might bring to their community.
The report goes over some of the top concerns of Estevan residents, including the following:
Jobs, Training, and Economic Diversification
"Participants prioritized job generation and economic opportunities in the area, given the federally regulated phase-out of conventional coal by 2030. Some expressed a desire to re-train coal workers and provide educational opportunities for young people to work in nuclear power. While some commenters emphasized that they wanted to keep existing coal jobs, others saw an opportunity to transition and diversify the economy."
Siting and Land Use
"Comments on siting included a request to build the facility on SaskPower land and to prioritize Estevan over Elbow because of its proximity to the United States for selling power across the border. Some felt the Boundary Dam area would be better than the Alameda Dam because of preexisting industry and deeper waters."
Recreation, Fish, and Wildlife
"Participants prioritized recreational uses of all three water bodies in the study area, focusing on fishing and ice fishing. They mentioned the importance of the bass in Boundary Dam and the year-round presence of geese because of the warmer water temperatures created by the coal power plant."
SaskPower also plans to hold more of these events in the future, with many preferring online workshops and surveys, along with some in-person events.
The decision to build an SMR facility and where that would go won't be made until 2029, but SaskPower says that first comes with substantial amount of regulatory and planning work.
Anyone interested in the project or joining the conversation can find out more information, ask questions, and see a list of upcoming engagement activities at saskpower.com/nuclear