Jun 23, 2021

ARC Canada Celebrates International Women in Engineering

ARC Canada is committed to the development of young professional women in the engineering discipline and today we are featuring our latest new hire, Ms. Rachel Kierstead, EIT. Rachel is a recent graduate from the Chemical Engineering program at UNB and has prepared an open letter supporting the small modular reactor program in the Province of New Brunswick.   

On June 14th, 2021, I began work as a Quality Management Specialist for ARC Clean Energy Canada. My start date came nearly a year after I attended a session held by the United Nations Association in Canada, titled The Role of SMR’s in the Decarbonized Energy System, in Canada and the World. This session alerted me to the significant opportunities to take part in development of clean energy in New Brunswick.

ARC Clean Energy Canada is one of two companies that is seeking to build a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station site. SMRs are fourth generation nuclear reactors that address many of the challenges that the global nuclear industry has faced in the past. Small Modular Reactors are cheaper and leave behind less waste than reactors before them, while employing passive safety systems. Development of SMR technologies in New Brunswick will position the province to be a leader in a growing, global industry that will provide its customers with clean, reliable energy.

The construction of these SMR’s will bring approximately 11,000 jobs to the province. However, the economic opportunity extends beyond construction of the demonstration units. This is an industry with a global export market that is projected to grow to between $150-300 billion by 2040. ARC Clean Energy Canada has expressed desire to assist in establishment of an SMR supply chain, bringing thousands of long-term jobs to New Brunswickers.

New Brunswick’s population growth strategy for 2019-2024 established the need for progressive measures to keep young New Brunswickers in the province. As one of many young engineering graduates that wanted to stay in New Brunswick but was forced to leave for work, the news of provincial funding and support of SMRs was extremely encouraging. This industry addresses the local problem of a lack of job opportunities in New Brunswick while mitigating the global problem of climate change.

For these reasons, I commend the provincial government for their continued support of SMR technology. This support gave me renewed motivation to come back to my home province. With the growth of the SMR industry, New Brunswick is poised to become a land of opportunity for young professionals seeking to use their talents to help create a decarbonized world.

If you are looking for resources to learn more about the climate crisis and nuclear energy’s place in mitigating it, you can start by reading Bill Gates’ “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need” or “A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow” by Joshua S. Goldstein and Staffan A. Qvist. If you are interested in understanding the promising technologies presented by ARC Clean Energy Canada please visit their website at www.arcenergy.co. Finally, you can visit smractionplan.ca to find information on work being done across Canada to establish this country as a leader in the growing SMR industry.



Rachel Kierstead, EIT