Save the date: Future of Nuclear 2015 Conference November 10

Mark your calendars for the third annual Future of Nuclear conference, to be held on November 10th at Torys LLP in downtown Toronto!

The Future of Nuclear conference is an annual, full-day event bringing together experts from the Canadian and global nuclear industry, nuclear regulatory bodies, and academia, for a discussion on the most current and important topics in Nuclear energy, policy, and science.

Save the date, and check in to for updates on speakers, topics, and tickets.

Announcing the Launch of the Future of Nuclear Seminar Series

Based on the results of the Future of Nuclear 2013 Post-Conference survey, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Future of Nuclear (FoN) Seminar Series. The seminars are organized and led by Mindfirst Inc. through the input of the advisory board and generous support of participant registration, industry and stakeholder sponsorship and location host Torys LLP.  The survey asked respondents to rank ten topics in order of importance for seminar discussion purposes. Six seminars will be held at Torys LLP in downtown Toronto during 2014 beginning on January 21, 2014.

The Future of Nuclear Advisory Board and sponsors meet Dec 5 to finalize seminar details.  Stay tuned for updates on seminar dates, speakers, topics, and format.

For updates on these and other events, like Future of Nuclear Conference on Facebook and follow @futureofnuclear on twitter.


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The Future of Nuclear Power and The Long View

Below is a comment from Future of NuclearChair Henry Vehovec on his opening remarks and in response to post-event press coverage:

“The day after Wednesday’s Future of Nuclear 2013 Conference in Toronto the Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Province of Ontario announced that new build nuclear reactors would not be pursued at this time. Articles in the press cited pricing pressure from cheap shale gas, a decline in energy demand, and increased resistance to nuclear power in the post-Fukushima world as reasons for the decision. Although there has been a recent decline in nuclear power in the global energy mix it would be premature to dismiss nuclear in the longer term.

Henry Vehovec, Chair, Future of Nuclear

Henry Vehovec, Chair, Future of Nuclear

The global mix of major energy sources evolves over decades and plays out in time frames of a century or more. The first oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859, however, it wasn’t until the development of the Model-T Ford fifty years later that oil truly took off as a major global energy source. Similarly, civilian nuclear energy started about fifty years ago and the industry now needs game changing innovation if it is to compete with shale gas and address concerns of radioactive waste, safety and proliferation.

Are there any such game changing innovations on the horizon? At the Future of Nuclear Conference we heard about several nuclear technologies that hold the paradigm shifting potential to compete with shale gas.  New nuclear technologies that are on the drawing board can burn spent fuel, are incapable of meltdown, and do not produce fissile material. We heard about fusion from General Fusion, thorium and molten salt reactors (MSR) from Terrestrial Energy, small modular reactors (SMR) from Babcock and Wilcox, portable reactors, travelling reactors, floating reactors and more. These technologies have attracted investors such as Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates as well as some of the wealthiest sovereign funds. The only problem with most of these technologies is that they require at least a decade to develop and would cost several billion dollars to produce their first prototype let alone a commercially available product. In this era of short term pressures for quarterly results in business and governments that rarely think beyond the horizon of a 4-year election term it is difficult to find jurisdictions that plan decades into the future as is required when considering energy infrastructure.

China, India, Russia and UAE are examples of countries that are taking an appropriate long view to energy planning. Not coincidentally, these are also among the countries that are proceeding aggressively with their plans to build nuclear power capabilities. China alone has 29 reactors currently under construction. Although some jurisdictions in the west do not have local demand to support new reactors it would certainly make sense to stay engaged with the industry and act as a supplier to international markets where possible. As a commodity, shale gas will not be cheap and plentiful forever.”

Toronto hosts first Future of Nuclear conference

The first Future of Nuclear conference is to be held in Toronto, Ontario.

The Province of Ontario is home to thousands of professionals working in the field of nuclear energy, many universities that provide courses in nuclear engineering, and several operating reactors. In addition, Ontario is currently planning a refurbishment of the Darlington Nuclear Generation Station, and is in the process of reviewing Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan.  Ontario’s capital, Toronto, is the ideal location to hold the first Future of Nuclear conference.

The conference will be held July 9, 2013 at MaRS discovery district, located blocks away from the University of Toronto, the Queen’s Park Provincial Parliament buildings, and Toronto’s financial district.

Click here to learn more about the event.