Thank you for the question.
The nuclear industry is an industry that is highly innovative. Many of the reactors in operation around the world today are first- and second-generation technologies. The ones on the drawing board are fourth-generation technologies that deal with fundamental issues of waste and safety and assured shutdown in the event of accidents. These are the ones that will be the game-changers as we move forward to decarbonize global economies over the next many years.
One of the unique realities of nuclear technologies is that an investment in a nuclear power plant is actually a 60- to 90-year investment. Thinking in the long term and how one upgrades the capabilities of reactors on that scale of timeframe is among the issues, but frankly emerging solutions, to address. A myriad of technologies are being examined around the world and here in Canada, ones that build on our pedigree in CANDU and its strategic advantage in the flexibilities of fuel cycles. As well, there's a potential game-breaker in what are called small modular reactors that introduce a variety of technologies for safe, affordable operation, including off-grid applications in the north of Canada, for example, that can dramatically address some of the issues we have with cost, affordability, capital investments.
These are frankly game-changing technologies. The international panel on climate change says it needs to be part of the answer. I think the technologies are emerging to make it part of the answer. It does come back to a point I made in my remarks about the risk factor and how the public perceives risk.