Geographical Considerations for Site Selection of Small Modular Reactors in Saskatchewan
Almalki, Raid Hassan
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Saskatchewan is one of Canada’s highest emitters of greenhouse gases, largely due to burning lignite coal to generate electricity. It is also the world’s second largest producer of uranium. Small Modular Reactors (SMR) are the next generation of electrical power, producing less than 300 megawatts (MW) and featuring a basic design that offers enhanced safety benefits on health and the environment than traditional reactors. The purpose of this research is to establish a process of geographical considerations for site selections of SMRs in Saskatchewan. Locating a SMR site is a two stage process: (i) identifying candidate site locations purely based on available geographical, economic, and logistical data – an objective process; and (ii) refining the locations based on public perception, social convention and political will – a subjective process. This study is on the objective part: the geographical considerations for site selection of SMRs in Saskatchewan. Study areas were subjected to a multi-criteria decision analysis based on specific criteria selected from different Canadian federal regulation documents. Criteria weights were assigned using Analytical Hierarchy Process methods, with results from two different types of criteria weights applied for demonstration purposes. Three distinct cases of criteria fuzzy standardization were conducted to assign the suitable geographical distance values of all the criteria. Spatial decision-making models were implemented in a geographic information system to identify candidate sites. Geographical maps constructed from the findings, show the suitable sites for SMRs, ranging from very suitable to unsuitable based on the geographical analysis for the study area.