Vancouver TALK 12: Powering Past Coal with Gas and Uranium - the Case for Small Modular Reactors

#talk #life

 Speaker: Dick Scarth


10:00 AM P.S.T. You can log in at 9:45 AM (12:45 PM Montreal) to check connection and say hello.
All IEEE members are welcome, especially those Life Members that don't have a local Affinity Group.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 17 Dec 2022
  • Time: 09:45 AM to 11:00 AM
  • All times are (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
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  • Starts 05 December 2022 09:00 AM
  • Ends 17 December 2022 09:00 AM
  • All times are (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
  • No Admission Charge


Dick Scarth


Powering Past Coal with Gas and Uranium - the Case for Small Modular Reactors

To keep the global greenhouse reasonably liveable, climate modellers tell us that we need to achieve net zero GHG emissions by mid-centurry. And to reach that target we need to decarbonize our electrical grids by 2030. 

In Canada the Alberta grid is a good example of decarbonization in progress. Partial decarbonization was achieved by replacing its thermal coal with natural gas burned at high thermal efficiency in combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT). To complete grid decarbonization Alberta is considering three clean near-term energy options: (1) capture and storage of the GHG released by its gas-fired plants (CCGT + CCS), (2) wind and solar made dispatchable by adding energy storage (W&S + S), and (3) the nuclear option - small modular reactors (SMR).

With his background in nuclear engineering, Dick has been closely following the development of SMRs in Canada and the small modular molten salt reactor (MSR) in particular has captured his interest. In his presentation he will describe in some detail the MSR that is being developed in Ontario for installation, possibly in Alberta, later this decade


Dick Scarth is a retired nuclear engineer who worked for Canadian General Electric in Peterborough on the development of CANDU nuclear reactors, and for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in Ottawa. In New Zealand he participated in the McCarthy Commission on Nuclear Power Generation. In Vancouver he worked for BC Hydro on a nuclear power feasibility study and on the assessment of alternative power generation technologies such as wind, tidal and geothermal. In retirement Dick is involved in the rehabilitation of local salmon streams. He is a founding member of the Spanish Bank Streamkeepers Group and is currently its President.

Address:Vancouver, Canada