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Open AccessArticle

Geographical Considerations in Site Selection for Small Modular Reactors in Saskatchewan

1
Department of Geography, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah 21955, Saudi Arabia
2
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Regina, Regina, SK S4S 0A2, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(9), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090402
Received: 24 July 2019 / Revised: 10 September 2019 / Accepted: 13 September 2019 / Published: 18 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering)
Saskatchewan is one of Canada’s highest emitters of greenhouse gases, largely due to the burning of lignite coal to generate electricity. The province is also the world’s second largest producer of uranium. This research was intended to establish a process for evaluating geographical considerations in site selection for small modular reactors (SMRs) in Saskatchewan. SMRs are the next generation of electrical power, producing less than 300 megawatts (MW) and featuring a basic design that offers enhanced safety, health, and environmental benefits compared to traditional reactors. Selecting an SMR site is a two-stage process: (i) Identifying candidate site locations based solely on available geographical, economic, and logistical data—an objective process—and (ii) refining the potential locations based on public perceptions, social conventions, and political will—a subjective process. This study focused on the objective geographical considerations in SMR site selection in Saskatchewan. The study areas were subjected to a multi-criteria decision analysis based on specific criteria drawn from various Canadian federal regulation documents. Criteria weights were assigned using the analytical hierarchy process, with results for two different types of criteria weights applied for the purpose of demonstration. Three distinct cases of criteria fuzzy standardization were conducted to assign spatial suitability values for all the criteria. Spatial decision-making models were implemented in a geographic information system to identify candidate sites. Geographical maps constructed from the findings showed suitable sites for SMRs, ranging from very suitable to unsuitable based on the geographical analysis of the study area. View Full-Text
Keywords: Saskatchewan; geographical; small modular reactors; environment; uranium; electricity Saskatchewan; geographical; small modular reactors; environment; uranium; electricity
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Almalki, R.; Piwowar, J.; Siemer, J. Geographical Considerations in Site Selection for Small Modular Reactors in Saskatchewan. Geosciences 2019, 9, 402.

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