Researchers looking into use of small nuclear power plants in Sask.

Researchers from the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan are looking into what it would take to build a small modular nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan.

The $1.1 million multidisciplinary project is led by Esam Hussein, dean of engineering and applied science at the U of R. It brings together researchers from five faculties and departments at the universities.

The project is meant to provide the researchers with a better understanding of nuclear energy and to help Saskatchewan graduate students develop expertise around building a small nuclear reactor somewhere that has not previously used nuclear power. Saskatchewan will be used as the case study.

"Small modular nuclear reactors will inevitably play a role in the clean energy mix, and it is important to explore their technical licensing processes," said Hussein in a press release.

"This project will build the capacity of Saskatchewan researchers and students to address technical, engineering and regulatory questions related to introducing this new technology."

The work will be done by graduate and doctoral students working in the fields of geology, geography, engineering, transportation and law.

Small modular reactors have a physical footprint and power output that make them better suited for smaller electrical grids.

The project is meant to benefit countries considering adopting nuclear power, and aims to provide a comprehensive approach for adopting nuclear energy and siting nuclear power plants.