March 6, 2023

Ep 384: John Gorman - President and CEO , Canadian Nuclear Association

President and CEO
Canadian Nuclear Association
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Show notes

Adam Smith [00:00:59] I'm Adam Smith and you're listening to the Titans of Nuclear Podcast. With us today we have John Gorman, CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association. John, welcome to the show.

John Gorman [00:01:10] Thank you very much, Adam. I'm glad to be here.

Adam Smith [00:01:13] We're glad to have you. We've got a good one for you today. So, I think we've got quite a few questions that our listeners would definitely appreciate some help understanding from your perspective. And before we get into that topic or any of those topics, tell us about yourself, tell us about your background. Where are you from?

John Gorman [00:01:32] Where am I from? Well, for your listeners who are familiar with Canada, I'm from Ottawa, Canada. So of course, the nation's capital, about 4 hours drive east from Toronto. Born and raised here, but studied and traveled abroad fairly extensively. A little bit about me and I guess how I got here... I suppose when I started my career, and especially just over 20 years ago when my wife Leigh and I started to have children, I began to think a little bit about how it was I wanted to marry professional life with my own personal ambitions to do something constructive and positive in terms of climate change and decreasing emissions. And about that same time I had been appointed to the board of a utility, an electric utility here in Ottawa that was quite a large utility and had amalgamated a number of them.

Adam Smith [00:02:48] Sorry to interrupt you. What was the name of that utility?

John Gorman [00:02:52] That's Hydro Ottawa. And it was a very interesting time in Ontario at that point because we were amalgamating many of our utilities. They were being spun out from sort of being municipal creatures to being share capital corporations. They were being given power to do all sorts of interesting things like to begin owning their own generation projects. They started setting up energy companies and they started setting up telecommunications companies as well as running their regular electricity business. And so that was fascinating for me. And as I said, Adam, at that time... It seems unbelievable now, but climate change was just beginning to register on my consciousness as being something that we needed to tackle. And this electricity space seemed to me to be something that I could focus on that would have a role if we were to get into renewable or non-emitting electricity sources.

John Gorman [00:03:57] And so I started a progression there of just continually focusing on electricity and clean energy, and it's brought me through a number of different things. Not only working with utilities, but as a developer of renewable projects, as someone who spent more than seven years heading up the the Solar Industries Association here in Canada. And I spent the last couple of years of that mandate working with my counterpart at Wind Energy to merge those things into renewables, and then I eventually moved to nuclear. But it's all been with the eye to ensuring that what I'm doing during the day is aligned with trying to make a contribution to lowering emissions in our economies at home and around the world. And although I didn't realize it over 20 years ago, it turns out that electricity is really central to all of these efforts. So that's why I'm glad to find myself here today with the Nuclear Association.

Adam Smith [00:05:00] That's amazing. It sounds like you've really seen the entire gamut of renewable or major renewable sources of energy. Can you talk about how some of that transition has happened for you? I mean, you've dealt with people in the wind industry, you led the solar industry in Canada, you now lead the nuclear industry in Canada. How has that worked out for you? What major transitions did you have to take to get from a solar or wind background over to nuclear? And were there any sort of benefits from transitioning from one to another or skills that you were able to apply?

John Gorman [00:05:40] When I look back at my involvement in these different clean electricity, clean energy technologies, I sometimes find myself scratching my head and wondering how it is I didn't see things more clearly at the time than we do now in retrospect. When I was with Hydro Ottawa, we were looking at creating renewable projects. As I said, that was over 20 years ago, and there was a lot of excitement around smart grid and storage and distributed generation even then, even though it was so nascent at that point. I mean, solar was outrageously expensive twenty-some years ago. And I was really seized with solar power as something that I would say, at that time, seemed to me to border on believing that solar was the silver bullet and that smart grid technologies, especially storage, distributed generation, the prosumer, you know, that thing, the people who are producing their own electricity and storing it and interfacing with the utilities. I mean, I thought that going to solve our world problems. We've seen mega decreases in the cost of deploying solar and wind, of course, which has been really, really important for the world over these last 20 years.

John Gorman [00:07:09] But I kind of woke up one morning after being in this field, working with wind and solar and storage for almost 20 years and realized that in all of that time working together at home and with people around the world, the amount of non-emitting electricity on the world's electricity grids was at 36% non-emitting electricity when I started working with renewables, and 20 years later, it was still at 36% non-emitting electricity, despite the incentives, the investments, the cost declines, the aggressive rollout of things. And let me say firstly, it's a good thing that we had more accessible wind and solar to be rolling out on the world's grids because it stopped us from losing ground against the deployment of coal and gas-fired electricity generation with energy demands, electricity demands around the world growing. So, that's a good thing. But the message to take away from me, the eye opener was, we are just not making progress quickly enough.

John Gorman [00:08:18] And so I thought, "Okay, wind and solar, they're in pretty good shape. What else can I do?" And I looked at the Canadian nuclear scene, this incredible six decades of just world records, safe operation of CANDU technologies here in Canada, and I thought that nuclear is a place that needs to be brought to the forefront as well. There's a lot of work that needs to be done there in terms of getting policymakers and the public to understand how great a technology nuclear is and how it can work with wind and solar. And so four years ago, I joined the Nuclear Association. And the motivation, after all that explanation, to get to your question, Adam, is it's because I realized the challenge was so big and we weren't making progress fast enough, despite making improvements with intermittent sources of electricity like wind and solar. And so I saw a need to help nuclear and I'm doing that every day, working with folks here and around the world.

Adam Smith [00:09:18] Well, that's amazing. We're glad to have you on our side, for sure. So, in your role as CEO of CNA, can you tell us a little bit about how you're advancing nuclear technology and basically nuclear's voice in the world?

John Gorman [00:09:38] Sure. Well, let me say, first of all, that I feel exceptionally fortunate and proud to be representing the Canadian nuclear sector. And I say that because Canada has such an exceptional history with its own nuclear sector. And so, when it comes to dealing with policymakers and the public here in Canada, I get to point to this six decades of excellence in nuclear through our CANDU technology. And on the world stages, Canada is recognized as a leader that's doing just about everything right in nuclear, not just with large, but some of the new innovations that have come up around small modular reactors, and of course, nuclear medicine with isotopes that Canada is a leader in. So, I've got this amazing platform and reputation to use this Canadian excellence, this Canadian industry, to talk in a very persuasive way about the role that nuclear can play at home and abroad. So I leverage that in all of the discussions that we're having at home and abroad. And that, I think, is the success to why Canada has such an outsized voice compared to the small nation that we are in the international nuclear scene. And I'm sure as we go forward in this discussion, I'll be able to talk more about some of the innovations and some of the leadership that Canada is showing on that front.

Adam Smith [00:11:21] You had mentioned SMRs, and from my research, you guys have at least... I think it's two projects that are SMR-based and you're kind of leading the charge, certainly in North America, if not the world, on developing some of these technologies. Do you think the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is ready for SMRs? Are they prepared for it or are they still in their gearing up phase?

John Gorman [00:11:47] What a great question, because regulators in many countries around the world now are struggling to wrap their heads around the regulatory frameworks for new innovations in nuclear, these small modular reactors. I would say that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the CNSC, is regarded as a very progressive regulator. First of all, we've got an incredible safety record of operating nuclear fleets here in Canada and we have for six decades. The President, Velshi, of the regulator here actually oversees the international working groups around safety, and we've got a stellar record. And the regulator is also quite nimble in terms of being able to adapt to new technologies. I think when you look at the spectrum of regulators around the world, some are so prescriptive that they force the technology providers to almost change their technologies to fit into a matrix, whereas the Canadian Nuclear Association is seemed to be one that while having these incredible standards around safety is working with what the technologies can actually do and be adaptive. So is it going through some growing pains right now? Because to your point, Adam, there are actually 12 technologies going through the review and licensing process right now, 12 small modular reactors.

Adam Smith [00:13:22] Oh my gosh, I didn't realize it was that many. You guys really are the leader.

John Gorman [00:13:25] Well, to the extent that it is a little bit of a problem too, right? We can't have 12 different technologies going through a regulator at the same time. So there is a bit of market self-selection that's happening there, some are more advanced than others. But fortunately, the federal government here in Canada has invested quite heavily into our nuclear ecosystem, and that has included investments in the regulator, additional funding, to be able to deal with the new challenges that are around licensing and siting for small modular reactors.

John Gorman [00:14:00] So I'd say we are doing very well. And to your point, there's more than two small modular reactor projects that are currently under development now. We've got our first large one; we'll be connected here in Ontario to the electricity grid in 2028. They're already beginning site prep and stuff like that. It's a 300 megawatt General Electric Hitachi reactor. Ontario is building out four of those in the short term. One of our other provinces, Saskatchewan... SaskPower has also committed to building out four, and the two utilities are working in lockstep to develop and deploy the technology. So that's going ahead full steam. I think you're right. We may be one of the first ones in the free world to actually connect a small modular reactor, full size, to the grid.

John Gorman [00:14:58] But we are working closely with partners in the States as well. Tennessee Valley Authority is working with OPG on the same technology, and there's a little bit of "co-opetition" that's happening there. Jeff Lyash, the leader over at TVA, is working very closely with Ken Hartwick over here in Ontario Power Generation. The two of them used to work together before. In fact, Jeff Lyash was the CEO of Ontario Power Generation until going south of the border there, from our perspective.

John Gorman [00:15:30] So, lots of great stuff happening there, but other technologies as well are being rolled out. Micro reactors at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories here in Ontario, there's a project going with Westinghouse's eVinci over in Saskatchewan. We've got X-Energy that has gotten a bunch of partnerships here in a couple of different provinces and partnerships with utilities. In New Brunswick, which is one of the smaller provinces, we've got two fourth-generation technologies that are being developed over there, Arc Energy and Moltex, which have their own interesting applications. So very, very promising things are happening here.

Adam Smith [00:16:15] Oh my gosh, you guys are hitting it on all fronts. It sounds like every province is getting their own nuclear reactor. Before all of these SMRs came about or started to enter into your regulatory process, wasn't most of the nuclear power concentrated in Ontario?

John Gorman [00:16:34] Ontario and New Brunswick? Yes, you're right. And pretty significant, too. I mean, we've got 10 provinces here in Canada, three territories, but Ontario is our biggest economic province and from a population point of view as well. And nuclear here in Ontario creates about 60% of all our electricity. And in New Brunswick, a smaller province, it our CANDU reactors again. They're producing about a third of New Brunswick's electricity. We have a refurbishment going on here in Ontario of our 10 units, and this is a $26 billion project that is extending the lives of the Bruce Power and and Darlington nuclear plants, extending their lives into the 2060s.

Adam Smith [00:17:32] Love to see it.

John Gorman [00:17:33] Yeah, well you know you're welcome... Let's do that. We'll have you up here and go for a tour of the plants. Those things are going on time and on budget, which is a major accomplishment for any large infrastructure project. But it's on the basis of this incredible activity and this pedigree of CANDU technology that we are doing all of this innovation around small modular reactors and nuclear medicine isotopes and things like that. And so when you combine that with this incredible network of laboratories, nuclear laboratories that we have, like the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, but there are other ones as well, academia, our world leading regulator, and this this cooperation we have going on between four provinces and four utilities, it's pretty amazing. And it's all come together to really give Canada a bit of an advantage in terms of developing and deploying small modular reactors. And when we get to it, Adam, the large nuclear is back on the menu here in Canada, so some interesting things to talk about there as well.

Adam Smith [00:18:41] Amazing. Are you looking at large nuclear reactors with some of these different technologies as well, or are you going with your traditional CANDU reactors as well?

John Gorman [00:18:52] So, another great question, and one that is actually keeping me up at night lately. Let me take a step back for a moment and just say there's a bit of a dynamic that's happening here in Canada, and I think it's happening in nations around the world that have nuclear assets. And the dynamic is people in the industry, especially the nuclear industry, have recognized for some time now, that there is no pathway to a net zero future without a lot of new nuclear. And so the industry itself has been working towards that, despite the fact that the public and the policymakers have not in all cases recognized that yet, you know what I mean?

John Gorman [00:19:38] In Canada, three years ago even, I was having trouble getting a federal minister to say the word nuclear behind a microphone. I mean, it wasn't part of the political dynamic or the read of public support by policymakers that we should be talking a lot about nuclear, despite all the great assets that we have here. And we've seen a dramatic change over these last three years. Now, full support of the federal government, both the cabinet ministers and the senior policymakers for different provinces. Four of the ten provinces and their leaders have signed an MOU for the development and deployment of nuclear in their provinces. As I mentioned, big funding announcements that are supporting the nuclear ecosystem here in Canada, increasing amounts of funding that have been given out through various funds within the Canadian government, like the Canada Infrastructure Bank or the Strategic Innovation Fund that are supporting the specific technologies. We had a billion dollar investment by the Canada Infrastructure Bank in that small modular reactor project at Darlington that I spoke to you about. So within three years, there's been this enormous shift in terms of recognizing that not only is nuclear clean, but that it's needed for net zero. And now we're seeing that translate into actual support.

John Gorman [00:21:08] So, the policymakers are catching up, still a lot of work to do with the public. But getting back to your question about the large nuclear, what happened in Ontario just a few weeks ago was that the system operator in Ontario, our largest province as I said, came out with a Pathway Report in terms of electricity systems planning. They're an independent body responsible for planning the electricity system in Canada, in Ontario, I should say. And it said, "We are going to need to more than double the size of our electricity grid right now. We're going to need 69 gigawatts of new, clean electricity generation by 2050." And right now, Adam, we only have like 40 gigawatts of installed capacity on our system. So, 69 new gigawatts.

John Gorman [00:21:56] And not only that, but 18 of those 69 gigawatts need to be nuclear. So we're not going to be able to build out 18 gigawatts of new nuclear in this province by 2050 unless we include large as well as small nuclear. And that means having to grapple with will it be CANDU technology, the one that we've homegrown here in Canada, or will it be Westinghouse, the AP1000, or are the French interested, are the South Koreans interested? That's up for discussion right now. But there are other exciting things happening in Canada that are complicating this dynamic a bit. And that is Cameco, a Canadian corporation powerhouse, the second largest exporter of uranium in the world, along with Brookfield, a major global investment bank owned by Canada, have bought Westinghouse which owns the AP1000. So, we've got some interesting dynamics around large nuclear here that we have to work our way through and figure out what is going to meet our needs from a large nuclear point of view.

Adam Smith [00:23:09] Yeah. It definitely seems like the nuclear industry is small enough that every direction that you look in, it's everyone kind of owns a little chunk of everyone else or everyone knows everyone. So yeah, that dynamic between your typical CANDUs and your AP1000s or if the French get involved, that'll be interesting to see how that plays out. But it seems like Canada is taking a bit of, I would call it almost an all-of-the-above or sampling of all the technologies, at least on the SMR side, and then you guys already have expertise in the CANDUs. Is there anything that specifically drove Canada to develop their own CANDU reactor as opposed to going with your typical light-water reactor?

John Gorman [00:23:55] Well, my understanding is that we were very motivated to find a technology that could use natural uranium. So, you know, the fuel.

Adam Smith [00:24:08] Yeah. Well, you have plenty of it, so.

John Gorman [00:24:11] We have plenty of it. That's right; that's a good point. And it's not enriched. So that was the motivation for it. And of course, as I said, not only do we have six decades of experience with the CANDU technology, but now with these refurbishments going on, the $26 billion project here in Ontario, there's just a lot of expertise, a healthy supply chain around CANDU, and a lot of economic benefit that comes to Canada because of that. So it's going to be interesting to see just how the industry, how with government, frankly, whether there's going to be a resurgence of support for CANDU over other technologies or not. I think on the large scale stuff, you do see most nations are favoring their own large technologies. So Canada will grapple with that now.

Adam Smith [00:25:05] Amazing. So going back to the communication and support side of this, you've mentioned that Canada has gotten fully on board from top to bottom government-wise, and now you're trying to get the public on board as well. What's your plan for that? How exactly do you plan to do that? And do you have any learnings from getting the government on board that you might be able to share with us so we can apply that to every government?

John Gorman [00:25:33] Right. Well, look, when it comes to policymakers catching up to the nuclear industry, I think that's going to happen just about everywhere. As we move into this increasingly carbon constrained world and as we start looking at actually planning out how we're going to decarbonize our electricity systems and how it is that we're going to double or triple the size of our electricity grid so we can fuel switch in these other sectors, transportation, buildings, you name it, as these countries and planners go through the process they're just realizing that we can't do it without nuclear. So, I guess my point is the policymakers are going to come to that realization.

John Gorman [00:26:27] And we're seeing that in surprising places now. Japan has as made the tough decision now to reopen all of its nuclear plants, despite that dynamic, the public sentiment after Fukushima. Germany, the poster child for wanting to go all renewables and phase out nuclear is extending the life of its nuclear plants. And we'll see where that goes from here, whether there's a nuclear resurgence in Germany. And Russia's invasion of Ukraine, energy security, as you know, Adam, from the other discussions that you've had on this podcast, this is only accelerating. Energy security concerns are only accelerating the adoption of nuclear because, frankly, you can build nuclear anywhere, right? It's not dependent on needing large portions of land or needing the right wind or solar resource or water resource, which, those things are hard to... Especially water can be very hard to come by in terms of producing the base load. So all of these things are accelerating the adoption of nuclear.

John Gorman [00:27:41] So that policymakers, I think they're going to eventually get there. The bigger problem is the one that you mentioned, which is the public opinion. And I guess I'd have two things to say about that. The first is we know for certain that the more people understand the facts, look into the facts and understand the facts around nuclear, from being a clean energy source to being one of the safest forms of electricity generation, period. I mean, it's as safe as wind or solar in terms of actual safety records.

Adam Smith [00:28:18] Safer, safer.

John Gorman [00:28:19] It is. It is actually safer.

Adam Smith [00:28:21] It's so much safer.

John Gorman [00:28:22] Yeah. Or even the harder issues like waste, which is one of the first questions that come out of people's mouths. So, the more that people understand the facts, the more supportive they are. So that's good. The other thing I would depend on is people are actually beginning to care now, maybe for the first time ever, where their electrons come from. You know what I mean?

Adam Smith [00:28:48] Oh, yeah.

John Gorman [00:28:50] We've lived with electricity in fortunate developed countries for more than 100 years, and I think people have just always depended on it being there. They didn't really care or understand where it came from, whether it was produced by coal or gas or nuclear or something else. But now we see that people are actually looking into it, questioning how it is we're going to lower emissions. And so they're looking into nuclear along with the other things they're exploring and they're finding out that nuclear is an amazing technology. So I feel hopeful about that dynamic and that the industry can take advantage of policymakers and the public now taking a serious look at nuclear. And if we can communicate properly, then I think we're going to make some real progress here. The ground is very fertile.

Adam Smith [00:29:35] You have an optimistic view here, and I love it. I am definitely on board with that. I think the more we can just educate people. I think really nuclear's biggest issue, it's marketing. People, for the last 40 or 50 years, have been scared of something that they just didn't need to be frightened of. And the more we can educate people and the more that we can show them that it is this amazing source of energy, the more traction we can actually get. Because at the end of day, the regulators do what the general public wants. And if you can make the general public want nuclear and clean energy and for it to be stable and cheap, then the government officials will bend to that quickly. So, I'm equally as hopeful as you are here. Going back to Canada then, you guys just classified nuclear as clean energy, right? How does that...

John Gorman [00:30:37] Oh, yeah, we did. And that was a major breakthrough. As I said, three years ago, hard to find a federal minister or politician who would say the word nuclear behind a microphone. And now, very strongly supportive and a lot of champions for nuclear within the federal government. And as I said, four of the ten provinces also are being very supportive of nuclear. So acknowledging it as clean was an important first step. It's emissions free, and in fact, it's got a full-life carbon footprint that's the lowest of any technology. It's lower than solar, as low as wind, for sure. So, yeah, I mean, saying it was clean was the first step and then recognizing these other attributes that it has and seeing that it's needed for a net zero future, that's translated into big support.

Adam Smith [00:31:33] So in the U.S., for renewables, for example, we have incentives for building wind or solar. Is there an incentive that goes along with that clean designation in Canada?

John Gorman [00:31:47] Yes. I'm glad you asked this question. So, a couple of things. First, just to cover off on that last point about wind and solar and investments in clean energy. So now we find that nuclear is being supported along with the other clean energy sources. There are some historical inequalities. So before nuclear was really being embraced by the federal government and others, there were some decisions made to support wind and solar and storage and hydrogen and other clean energies that were not extended to nuclear. So we are fighting to get those extended to us so that we've got a level playing field. But yeah, Adam, I would say the real dynamic at play right now is what the Americans have done, what you folks south of the border have done with the Inflation Reduction Act. $369 billion dollars worth of incentives being directly pumped into the sort of clean energy infrastructure. I noticed in the U.S. coverage, we don't see all that much treatment or coverage of how much has been extended to nuclear, but it's very, very significant. It's like really significant, as you know.

Adam Smith [00:33:11] Wind and solar always get the spotlight, but yes, very, very significant. Very significant if we can make it work.

John Gorman [00:33:20] Very significant. And so from a Canadian perspective and also other nations looking at the United States, there's a flurry of activity right now to try to level up with what the Americans have done, where they've put the stake in the ground in terms of this massive injection into the clean energy transition. So we are, I would say, arguably or even factually, Canada was well ahead of the United States in terms of the type of policy environment and even support on a relative basis that we were giving to clean energies including nuclear. But with the IRA, the bar has been raised. And so we're looking at how we're going to try to create that level playing field with the United States to meet the incentive or at least the support that you have for clean energy. And I think we're going to get there.

John Gorman [00:34:17] What we're focused on right now for this budget is investment tax credits. So with investment tax credits, the government announced in the fall that they were going to extend the investment tax credits to small modular reactors and that they would discuss whether those investment tax credits would be extended to large nuclear. Of course, these investment tax credits are going to be used as a mechanism to help many clean energy technologies, but I'm just talking about nuclear right now. Our main thrust over these last few months has been, okay, yes, with the investment tax credit, let's ensure it's extended to small. You also have to make sure it's extended to large nuclear. Make sure you include the ability to extend these investment tax credits to the refurbishments that are going on so that we can expand the amount of production we're getting out of each of those plants.

John Gorman [00:35:15] And very importantly, let's make sure that Crown corporations, non-tax paying entities in Canada, can also take advantage of this investment tax credit. Because in the Canadian context, it really is the Crown utilities in each of the provinces that is driving, I think it's 75% of all investment in clean energy, clean electricity infrastructure. So in the Canadian context, we need to have that ITC not just available to the private sector but also to the Crown utilities. So that means, yes small, yes large, private sector and non-taxpaying entities need to be able to access this. That's what we've been pushing for. And by the way, again in the Canadian context, it's important because municipal governments are non-taxpaying. We want municipal governments to be embracing smart grid technologies and making other investments.

Adam Smith [00:36:13] Absolutely.

John Gorman [00:36:14] Absolutely. And then our indigenous people, right? The reconciliation that this nation is trying to achieve with its indigenous peoples here requires not only a pathway to reconciliation, but also forming partnerships like commercial partnerships with these communities and First Nations communities on real, equal terms that meet whatever their needs are. There isn't going to be a major infrastructure project built in Canada without having Indigenous people agree and support and participate in these projects. So they are non-taxpaying entities as well. We need to ensure that these things are extended to them.

John Gorman [00:37:02] And the last thing I'll say about it, Adam, is getting back to the Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S., those incentives, those investment tax credits, they are available to small, large, non-taxpaying entities, the private sector, etc. So we need parity between our nations as well, right? We can't have Canada or the U.S., in my view, having an advantage over the other as we try to go through this energy transition in both of our countries, because we need to be ensuring that investment dollars and human talent and supply chain are not going in one direction or the other. I think we, especially in the nuclear sector, need to create an almost bilateral or U.S.-Canada nuclear ecosystem where we're going through this together and cooperating so we can roll this stuff out.

Adam Smith [00:38:01] You definitely have the right idea here. The competition between the two countries just doesn't work very well if we end up having talent go either north or south, just depending upon where... Well, not just talent, but more importantly, capital going north or south, just wherever it makes more sense. So some sort of bilateral partnership between the U.S. and Canada could really spur some serious development.

John Gorman [00:38:25] We are working on that and we're working on it in many ways. Not to get too into the weeds, but the Department of Energy in the United States and our equivalent here in Canada, which we call Natural Resources Canada, they've signed a memorandum of understanding around nuclear collaboration. The regulators in both nations have done the same thing. Our association, the Canadian Nuclear Association and NEI in the states, Maria Korsnick, my friend and collaborator, have very structured working groups and task forces that are looking at everything from creating a nuclear fuel ecosystem to things around human resources and supply chain and all the rest of that. So, there is serious work going on there to ensure that we get it right.

Adam Smith [00:39:16] Amazing. Well, John, we're about out of time. But before we go, I have one last question for you. And that is, would you like to share any message for our listeners about nuclear?

John Gorman [00:39:28] Okay, messages. Well, look Adam, I think we touched on a couple. We know that the more that folks understand the real facts behind nuclear, the more supportive they're going to be. So, we're dealing with Titans of Nuclear Podcast listeners. We know these folks are going to be learning a lot about nuclear and they're supportive, but I would encourage them if they are supportive to reach out and talk to family and friends about nuclear and encourage them to understand as well.

John Gorman [00:39:59] Secondly, I'd say what sometimes the nuclear industry even is guilty of is not talking enough about the fact that we are not the silver bullet. Nuclear technology, even with the great innovations that are going on and our history of providing a lot of clean electricity, we're going to need all clean energy technologies to meet this challenge. I mean, you're just going to need them to be able to create a balanced, clean electricity system that is actually affordable for users. And the mix will change depending on what resources are available where. But you're going to need both large and scalable, smaller nuclear to support more opportunities for renewables as well; we're going to need everything. That means hydrogen and carbon capture and storage as well as these clean electricity technologies. So, all tech.

John Gorman [00:40:50] But something that I've been spending a lot of time on lately with my team here at the Canadian Nuclear Association and with the various policymakers is just this overall challenge we have in terms of building out so much infrastructure over the next 27 years. And I don't just mean nuclear. How are we going to build the transmission wires, all of the new generation assets that are going to be required to double or triple the amount of electricity we're producing? Certainly in the Canadian context, I mean, we have an Impact Assessment Act, which is very arduous and takes a long time to get through. You layer on top of that the nuclear regulator and all of the requirements that have to go along with the approvals and siting around that, and you could be talking more than a decade to try to build out a single piece of new infrastructure. And imagine doing that across the board in both nations as we deploy all of these technologies, all of this infrastructure over the next 27 years or so. It's a Herculean task.

John Gorman [00:41:53] And I guess people, your listeners, others, need to get their heads around the fact that this is going to be disruptive. It's going to require patience and buy-in and understanding of why it is we're doing this. And so I think that's a big collective challenge we're all going to have to work on.

Adam Smith [00:42:11] John Gorman, thank you for coming on the show. It's been a pleasure.

John Gorman [00:42:15] Thank you so much, Adam. I really enjoyed our conversation.

Adam Smith [00:42:18] Likewise.

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