Tag Archives: CANDU

Nuclear Policy

Kicking Off the Discussion for a Policy Exercise

By John Stewart
Director, Policy and Research
Canadian Nuclear Association

A policy development forum recently asked CNA to identify a few key factors that shaped the development of Canada’s nuclear industry. We came up with eight. They range from the Western allies’ war needs in the 1940s (which invested us in uranium-based fission reactor technology) to Canada’s advanced cultures of medicine, public health and safety (which give us a culture of reactor safety, leadership in medical applications of nuclear, and leadership in irradiation and food safety).

The interesting thing about this analysis is how many advantages it reveals. Our industry faces challenges (notably cheap natural gas, lack of carbon pricing, and the problems of sustaining top-notch science and technology infrastructure). But the list of strengths is strikingly longer and more impressive than the list of challenges.

Even in a world where many reactor technology options are in development, it’s hard to beat a design series like the CANDUs that are familiar to regulators, with long track records of safety, reliability, and affordability. Then there’s the proliferation-resistance advantage of these designs, which is not diminishing and is probably growing as an asset in the 21st century. Canadian reactors offer the developing world an ideal combination of affordable, minimal-carbon electricity plus proliferation safety. And that Canadian nuclear brand is further strengthened by Canada’s reputation in safety, medicine and public health internationally.

Which brings up another asset on the list: Canada’s perennial and recognized openness to worldwide investment, technology and talent, and the tens of thousands of highly educated newcomers here who have links to foreign markets and practices. While this is a strength across the board in Canada’s economy, it’s especially powerful in a sector like nuclear that depends on global best practices and global market reach.

These thoughts are a very early step in a policy exercise that we’ll look forward to blogging about over the next few months.

Nuclear News Nuclear R&D

Journal Launch: AECL Nuclear Review

TalkNUclear is pleased to share the news that AECL has just launched AECL Nuclear Review, Canada’s newest journal for nuclear science and technology.

AECL Nuclear Review - Vol. 1, No. 1 June 2012

AECL Nuclear Review showcases innovative and important nuclear science and technology that is aligned with AECL’s core programs. The Journal welcomes original/novel articles and technical notes in a variety of subject areas: CANDU Nuclear Industry; Nuclear Safeguards and Security; Clean Safe Energy including Gen IV, Hydrogen Technology, Small Reactors, Fusion, Sustainable Energy and Advanced Materials; Health, Isotopes and Radiation; and Environmental Sciences. The accepted peer reviewed articles are expected to span different disciplines such as engineering, chemistry, physics, and biology.

AECL Nuclear Review welcomes Canadian and international research scholars and scientists from different disciplines to its new publication which reflects the integration of scientific researchers and industrial practitioners.

If you would like to submit an article for consideration, or, wish to reach any member of the editorial team, please get in touch:
JANL@aecl.ca or 1-800-364-6989 (Corporate Communications)

Click to download the first issue of AECL Nuclear Review (8MB)

Nuclear Energy Nuclear News Nuclear Pride Nuclear Safety

Canada Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Nuclear Power Generation

The Canadian nuclear industry today celebrates the 50th anniversary of nuclear power generation in Canada!

On June 4th, 1962, in Rolphton, Ontario, the Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor began supplying electricity to the Ontario grid, producing enough electricity to power 10,000 homes.  Today, nuclear power generation supplies 15 % of Canada’s safe, clean, and reliable electricity, and almost 60% in Ontario alone.

Birds-eye view of NPD

“This historic achievement marks an important milestone in Canada’s leadership in nuclear energy and technology,” said Denise Carpenter, Canadian Nuclear Association President and CEO. “The NPD was made possible through the combined expertise and innovation of several companies we know today, such as AECL, and with the support and direction of the National Research Council.”

One of NPD’s essential roles was as a prototype for Canada’s homegrown CANDU technology as it was the first heavy-water power reactor in the world. It used Canadian natural uranium and assumed the horizontal pressure-tube arrangement, which is characteristic of all CANDU units to this day. This made NPD the first commercial power reactor to have a completely replaceable core, and the first to refuel while operating at full power – both signature CANDU traits.

In the five decades since, Canada’s CANDU nuclear fleet has grown to include 20 reactors with two more planned at Darlington in Ontario to help the province achieve its clean energy goals – similarly, this was the goal when nuclear energy was developed 50 years ago to compete with coal.

“Today also marks the kick-off of Canadian Environment Week,” added Carpenter. “This is particularly significant since nuclear energy provides a clean and reliable source of power that is an important part of Canada’s clean energy portfolio.”

The role of nuclear in Canada goes far beyond being a safe, clean, affordable, available, and reliable source of energy. Nuclear has an important role to play in medicine, research, food safety, highly-skilled jobs, and makes crucial contributions to other industries across the Canadian economy.

The women and men who worked to give us the gift of the clean, reliable, affordable nuclear power generation we enjoy today. Thank you!

The NPD was shut down in 1987 after having exceeded its operational goals. Our thanks to the women and men who brought us this strong symbol of Canadian innovation for a powerful, clean energy future.

For more information about nuclear in Canada and around the world, please visit CNA’s Factbook.

 

Additional Info:

AECL marks 50th anniversary of nuclear power in Canada – June 4, 2012

50th anniversary of nuclear power in Canada observed at UOIT – April 9, 2012

Nuclear Education Nuclear Energy

The Evolution of Nuclear Power

In 1962, the NPD (Nuclear Power Demonstration) reactor came online and demonstrated the CANDU (CANada Deuterium Uranium) design. The NPD was Canada’s first electricity-producing reactor, and the world’s first heavy-water power reactor. Canada’s CANDU reactor is a Generation II commercial reactor. It’s considered one of the world’s safest and most successful nuclear reactors.

Nuclear reactor designs have continued to evolve from the Gen II designs to make them even safer, more efficient, and in some cases, smaller (i.e. small modular reactors) – but still powerful enough to power a small city.

We've come a long way, baby!

GENERATIONS III AND III+
Generation III designs, now in use, reflect design improvements that have made these systems safer and more efficient and given them longer operating lives (typically 60 years) than earlier systems.

Generation III+ designs, which are now being built outside Canada, extend these improvements.  (The “Generation” standards for nuclear technologies originated with the U.S. Department of Energy – www.energy.gov).

WHAT IS GENERATION IV?
Canada is part of an international collaboration to set the following goals for advanced nuclear energy systems, and to work toward them:

  • Sustainability
  • Minimum waste
  • Life cycle cost advantage
  • Competitive in financial risk
  • Excellent safety and reliability in operation
  • Secure

Technologies that meet these international standards will be called Generation IV (www.gen-4.org).

WHAT ARE SMALL MODULAR REACTORS?
Small modular reactors (SMRs) have existed for decades.  As opposed to full-sized, built-on-site reactors, these units are mostly built in a factory environment and then shipped and installed.   In past uses they have proven to be low-maintenance, reliable, and versatile.

SMRs can be designed to have low staffing needs, and long cycles between refuellings (four to ten years or longer).   Like all reactor designs, they have made substantial advances in safety and efficiency.

In Canada and elsewhere, there is considerable interest in applying newer SMR designs:

  • For electricity generation — replacing aging fossil-fuel units of similar size and power.
  • For electricity in small, remote communities where diesel is currently in use.
  • For process heat applications – in heat-intensive resource extraction industries (smelting ore, extracting bitumen from oilsands, cooking wood pulp).
  • For local heat applications in arctic communities.

Why Go Nuke?
Nuclear energy provides a clean and reliable source of power and is an important part of Canada’s clean energy portfolio. Because there are virtually no greenhouse gas emissions from our power generating plants, it does not contribute to global climate change or smog.

Not only important in energy production, the application of nuclear science improves the health and well-being of Canadians through nuclear medicine and food safety technologies as well. Innovation in nuclear science is also being applied to address a number of societal challenges such as public health and transportation.

CNA2012 Nuclear Energy Nuclear News Nuclear Outreach Nuclear Pride

Canada’s Nuclear Industry Aligned for Growth in 2012

February 24, 2012 – Ottawa, Ontario

Canada’s nuclear industry is poised for future growth and prosperity, according to discussions at the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) Annual Conference and Trade Show in Ottawa.

Canada’s nuclear industry is as strong as ever,” said Denise Carpenter, President and Chief Executive Officer, CNA. “Over the past few days, we have had great discussions on how our industry is leveraging lessons learned from Fukushima and how innovations in research and technology can improve and grow nuclear in Canada and abroad.”

More than 650 delegates from the nuclear community attended the conference, themed ‘Leadership Through Innovation.’

Tom Mitchell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), provided an overview of the progress made by the World Association of Nuclear Operators Fukushima Response Commission and discussed groundbreaking methods of communicating risk and nuclear safety. (Download the PDF of Tom’s speech here)

“We are not ignoring the lessons we learned from Fukushima,” said Mitchell. “Safety, despite our industry’s excellent track record, can never be taken for granted.”

OPG has almost a dozen Fukushima-related projects underway or planned for implementation between now and the end of 2016.

Underscoring the industry’s growth, the Honourable Rob Norris, Saskatchewan’s Minister Responsible for Innovation, announced a multi-year agreement to provide funding for the new $30 million Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation.

Other conference highlights included a keynote speech by Patrick Lamarre on the future opportunities for SNC-Lavalin Nuclear following their recent acquisition of the CANDU Reactor Division of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, and the presentation of the annual Ian McRae Award to Mr. Gerald (Jerry) Grandey, former Chief Executive Officer of Cameco Corporation.

Conference highlights, including links to videos from speaker sessions, can be found on Twitter by following @TalkNUclear and #cnagm2012.

(Update: check out #cnagm2012 photo highlights on our Google+ page)

Messages Nuclear Outreach

Peterborough’s Nuclear Cluster

On November 23,  members of a potential “nuclear cluster” gathered to discuss business opportunities in the Peterborough area’s energy sector. Our President and CEO, Denise Carpenter, was joined on the panel by two CNA members, the Organization of CANDU Industries and GE Hitachi, and others.

The Canadian nuclear industry is a $6.6 billion per year industry employing over 70,000 Canadians directly or indirectly in exploring and mining uranium, generating electricity, advancing nuclear medicine, and promoting Canada’s worldwide leadership in science and technology innovation. Nuclear brings great opportunities to Canadian communities. We at TalkNUclear welcome the Peterborough “nuclear cluster” and the growth such a partnership will bring to the region.

News Release

Peterboroughs Energy Sector is Preparing for Growth Opportunities

[PETERBOROUGH] The Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation (GPA EDC) has identified Energy as a significant and growing business cluster in the area. With the arrival Lilly Lake Solar plant, current and future opportunities with hydro electricity production on the Trent-Severn waterway system, and emerging green energy technologies, the area is well-positioned to take advantage of growth in the energy sector. Interestingly, a recent study identified 25 local companies that are involved or interested in being involved in the nuclear supply chain.

The GPA EDC brought members of the local nuclear supply chain together today to enhance the cluster of businesses that will work together to grow opportunities for businesses development. The energy industry is expanding globally and new opportunities are arising that will open up our local supply chain to future growth. This work is expected to create investment and new jobs in the Greater Peterborough Area.

“A significant number of businesses in our area are already creating products that contribute to the nuclear supply chain,” stated Dan Taylor, GPA EDC President & CEO. “We’re bringing these businesses together with government support services to look at how industry changes and opportunities will create wealth and jobs for the local companies.”

The mission of the GPA EDC is to assist the City and County of Peterborough with the development of an environment that facilitates the creation of wealth and expanded employment in a manner that increases our citizens’ standard of living and improves quality of life.

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For additional information please contact Kate Young, Communications Officer,

705-743-0777 Ext. 2134 or kyoung@gpaedc.on.ca, @youngk8e, @PtboEcDev

 

BACKGROUND

The Research Project:
The 2010 Industrial Transition and Investment Project (ITI Project), funded in conjunction with the National Research Council’s (NRC) Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), found that in the GPA there are approximately 25 local companies active or interested in being active in the nuclear industry. This major supply chain research project, conducted by the GPA EDC, focused on clean water technology, wind, and solar energy, in addition to nuclear energy in the Peterborough region.

The Nuclear Energy Industry has been defined as all activities that make up the nuclear fuel cycle: uranium mining, conversion and enrichment, power generation, the management of nuclear fuel-waste, and nuclear research and development (dealing with energy production or other uses, including medical).

Business Development Potential:
New business collaborations between existing GPA firms could lead to new business development opportunities. These collaborations are most likely to occur where GPA firms are already active in a particular element of the supply chain or are interested in becoming active in the element. The strongest levels of activity for GPA companies are within the Power Generation segment – providing products and services to nuclear power plants and their major suppliers. The opportunity for collaboration is most likely to occur in the following elements of the supply chain:

  1. Machining, Fabrication and Mechanical Equipment and Components.
  2. Calibration, Measuring and Testing Equipment, Electrical Equipment & Components and Equipment Qualification & Testing.
  3. Contracting, Project management, Engineering Services and Industrial Maintenance.
  4. Nuclear Fuel-Waste Management.

For more information about Peterborough’s expanding energy sector or to view the businesses currently active in the supply chain, please visit: http://gpaedc.on.ca/expand-develop/energy-in-the-gpa/