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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

Messages Nuclear News Nuclear Pride

Canadian Nuclear Association Applauds Canada-China Agreement on Uranium Exports

Prime Minister Harper’s recent visit to China proved positive for Canada’s nuclear industry. We released this statement today.

Canadian Nuclear Association Applauds Canada-China Agreement on Uranium Exports

February 9, 2012 – Ottawa, ON – Canada’s nuclear industry congratulates Prime Minister Harper on the successful completion of negotiations between Canada and China to formalize an agreement that will increase exports of Canadian uranium.

“This is good news for Canada’s nuclear industry,” said Denise Carpenter, President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association. “Canada produces 18% of all global uranium, making us the second largest producer in the world. Our uranium industry employs about 14,000 people across Canada and is the leading employer of Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan.”

The broadening of the Canada-China Nuclear Cooperation Agreement means hundreds of new jobs and billions in new investments in Canada, and greater security of nuclear fuel supply for China. The Canada-China Memorandum of Understanding on Energy Cooperation strengthens bilateral ties between the two countries and provides a framework for Canada to engage China on nuclear energy policy, trade, investment, and research and development.

In addition to large uranium deposits, Canada is also home to the world’s largest commercial uranium refining facility (Blind River, Ontario) owned and operated by Cameco Corporation. The company’s planned increase in annual uranium production aligns well with China’s ambitious nuclear growth plan.

“This agreement between Canada and China will generate even more jobs and revenue in Canada, and contribute to the use of clean energy in China, which is the world’s largest energy consumer,” added Ms. Carpenter. “We encourage the Government of Canada to finalize the Protocol as quickly as possible to benefit Canada’s economy and improve access to markets for Canada’s nuclear energy resources.”

Canada’s nuclear industry generates approximately $6.6 billion per year, contributing $1.5 billion in tax revenue and $1.2 billion in export revenues. The industry also supports over 70,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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For more information:
Kathleen Olson
Director of Communications
Canadian Nuclear Association
olsonk@cna.ca

Nuclear R&D

Canada’s Innovation Puzzle: Is our National Conversation Missing a Piece?

John Stewart – CNA Director of Policy and Research

Canadians have been concerned for decades about their country’s level of research and development activity, which is presumably related to productivity and living standards. However, recent major national studies and policy efforts related to R&D have focused almost exclusively on business performance of R&D. As policy-makers in the US and other major innovator countries recognize, public institutions such as national laboratories are an integral part of national science and technology performance, as they concentrate many diverse researchers together, offer training opportunities for highly qualified personnel in many fields, and can supply R&D facilities and services that may not be offered by private institutions, regardless of incentives. Policy efforts must look at the full ecosystem of public, academic and private institutions to have a complete picture of national science and technology performance.

Access the entire article here (PDF)

This article is featured in the September issue of the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP)’s Policy Options magazine.  This month’s focus is on innovation.

Policy Options > Innovation Issue – September 2011