Category Archives: Uncategorized

Uncategorized

The Sound of Neutrons

The hills are alive, with the sound of… neutrons?

This March, “The Sound of Neutrons,” an original musical written and directed by Phyllis Heeney will be performed by the Deep River Players at the Childs Auditorium of Mackenzie Community School in Deep River.

Based on real events, the musical centres around a female physicist who was unable to get a job at Chalk River labs in 1945 to work on the ZEEP reactor because she was a woman.

The musical is written and directed by Phyllis Heeney, a retired Canadian Nuclear Laboratories employee. Phyllis took great care to base the story of her musical on the experiences of real women from the Deep River and Chalk River area: Maria, a physics professor from Bratislava who was unable to get a job as a physicist; Nancy, a woman who did get a job as a physicist but was never seen as equal by her male peers; Maraget, the first woman ever hired at Chalk River, whose desk chair was a keg of nails.

The musical celebrates the entry of women into the nuclear workforce and the strides they made for not only other female workers, but for Canada’s science and engineering fields as a whole.

The show runs on March 12 & 13 – takes a pause for March Break – and finishes its run on March 26, 27, and 28. Opening night, March 12, is also the kick-off of the Town of Deep River’s 75th anniversary celebrations. A catered reception will follow the performance on opening night, which will be attended by local area politicians, advocacy organizations, historical societies, and AECL and CNL employees (past and present).

Details regarding the purchase of tickets can be found on the poster above.

CNA2020 Uncategorized

SMRs AS DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are to large nuclear plants as desktop personal computers were to room-sized mainframe computers. SMRs have the potential to disrupt our world in ways we cannot imagine. Join this panel presentation as the panellists talk about what the future might hold for this new technology.

Mark Lesinski was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) in 2015. CNL is Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, managed by the Canadian National Energy Alliance. Lesinski has a distinguished career in nuclear science, operations, projects and decommissioning. His 38 years of experience spans commercial and government nuclear facilities, including power reactor operations, major retrofit projects, and management of decontamination and decommissioning.

Ken Canavan was appointed Chief Technology Officer of Westinghouse Electric Company in 2018. He leads Westinghouse’s efforts to drive next-generation technology and innovation solutions that align with the company’s global business strategy. Previously Canavan was Director of Engineering for the Electric Power Research Institute. There he was responsible for turning industry needs into compelling research and development plans, which improved the safety and performance of the global nuclear fleet. He has more than 30 years of experience in key engineering and risk management roles.

A visiting lecturer at the University of Manchester, Kirk Atkinson joined the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science at Ontario Tech University as an Associate Professor in 2019. An expert on SMRs in the marine context, he served on the Physics Working Group and Science Support Network for the United Kingdom’s Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. He was also part of the team assessing nuclear power options for future Royal Navy submarines. As naval reactors are the original SMRs, Atkinson is perhaps the only Canadian academic with real-world experience working in a successful program encompassing the design, manufacture, operation and disposal of small pressurized water reactors.

Join the discussion at this panel presentation on Friday morning.

You can find the full CNA2020 program at https://cna.ca/cna2020/program/.

CNA2020 Uncategorized

Provincial perspectives on small modular reactors

Two provincial cabinet members will take the CNA2020 mainstage to offer their perspectives of small modular reactors (SMRs) in their respective provinces.

Portrait of Dustin DuncanDustin Duncan has been the member of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly for Weyburn-Big Muddy since 2006. A member of the Saskatchewan Party, he currently serves as the Minister of Environment, Minister responsible for SaskPower and Minister responsible for the Water Security Agency. Previously, he managed various portfolios, including Energy and Resources, SaskEnergy.

Portrait of Greg RickfordIn 2018, Greg Rickford was elected as the member of Ontario Legislature for Kenora—Rainy River. A member of the Progressive Conservative Party, he is the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and the Minister of Indigenous Affairs. Previously, Rickford was the member of Parliament for the riding of Kenora since 2008. Federally, he served as Minister of State (Science and Technology, and Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario), Minister of Natural Resources and other portfolios.

In December, the premiers of Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to advance the development and deployment of SMRs. To address climate change, regional energy demand and economic development, the MOU commits the provinces to work cooperatively to:

  • address key issues for SMR deployment, such as technological readiness, regulatory frameworks, financing, waste management, and public and Indigenous engagement;
  • develop support for the SMR Roadmap and as requested by the CEOs of SaskPower, Ontario Power Generation, Bruce Power and NB Power;
  • work with all levels of government to promote nuclear as clean energy;
  • influence the federal government to make the necessary changes to facilitate the introduction of SMRs;
  • engage with other interested provinces and territories to explore the potential for SMR deployment in their jurisdictions; and
  • inform the public about the economic and environmental benefits of nuclear energy and SMRs.

Join this CNA2020 plenary session on Thursday, February 27 from 11:00 to 12:00.

Find the complete CNA2020 schedule at https://cna.ca/cna2020/program/.

Uncategorized

Moltex Energy pursuing SMR build in New Brunswick

Moltex

The next generation of nuclear reactors is on its way in Canada.

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are a type of reactor that are smaller than conventional nuclear reactors. They can be built in factories and delivered to power sites and remote locations for installation at a low cost.

In Ontario, both Ontario Power Generation and Bruce Power are working with companies to develop SMRs.

And in New Brunswick, two companies signed agreements with NB Power and the Government of New Brunswick as part of an effort to build a manufacturing hub and potentially a second or even third reactor at Point Lepreau.

One of these companies is Moltex Energy.

At the recent Canadian Nuclear Society conference in Ottawa, Moltex Energy Canada Chief Executive Rory O’Sullivan spoke about the company’s efforts to have a stable salt reactor available before 2030.

“We signed the agreements with NB Power and the New Brunswick government last year,” he said.

There are now 10 full-time engineers at the Moltex office in New Brunswick, with five more expected to start in the fall.

“The main objective from the New Brunswick side is understanding our technology so they can eventually build a demonstration plant,” he said. “The long-term vision is to have New Brunswick as a cluster, to build a plant there and get the local supply chain engaged in the best position to sell components as we sell reactors around the world.”

Moltex’s reactor is an SSR, short for Stable Salt Reactor. It uses molten salt fuel in conventional fuel pins. The technology can reuse spent fuel from CANDU reactors at Point Lepreau. It can store heat as thermal energy in large tanks of molten salt that can be converted to steam to create electricity and be able to operate on demand.

“The concept of a meltdown doesn’t really apply,” O’Sullivan said. Companies like Moltex are among those working in Canada to build the next generation of nuclear reactors that offer more flexibility to work with renewables in clean-energy systems of the future.

“All grids around the world need more flexibility as renewables grow and as grids change and you get more electric vehicle charging spikes,” he said. “We are not just developing a reactor that runs baseload all the time. We are developing a hybrid nuclear storage solution.”

“Nuclear is going to be part of a decarbonized future grid. Our way of getting there is trying to build a nuclear solution that operates as cheaply as possible.”

CNA2020 Uncategorized

CNA Sponsorship Spotlight: Kinectrics

Students are the future of any industry. That’s one of the reasons why the Canadian Nuclear Association is pleased to have Kinectrics as the Gold-Level Sponsor of the Starting Your Nuclear Career student event at CNA2020.

Kinectrics’ origins can be traced back to 1912 as the technical and research division of Ontario Hydro, which was the largest electrical utility in North America. Ontario Hydro covered generation from nuclear, fossil, hydroelectric and renewable sources, as well as transmission and distribution. In the 1990s, the province broke-up and re-organized Ontario Hydro into multiple companies.

Kinectrics is a leader in engineering, testing, inspection, certification and consulting. Based in Toronto, it has more than 25 laboratory and testing facilities. Trusted by clients worldwide, its expertise is backed by a diverse fleet of field inspection equipment and an award-winning team of over 1,000 engineers and technical experts.

In December, Kinectrics opened a new 40,000-square-foot facility in Teeswater on nine acres of industrial property that will provide laundry services to Bruce Power. In 2017, Kinectrics opened the cornerstone of its expansion, a 37,000-square-foot facility at the Bruce Energy Centre, in Kincardine. With these two facilities, Kinectrics has invested more than $50 million in Bruce County initiatives over the past few years.

In November, partnership agreements between Ontario and international firms established the province as a stable global supplier of the life-saving medical isotope Lutetium-177. The agreements involved Bruce Power, Kinectrics, Framatome and ITM, a biotechnology and radiopharmaceutical group of companies based in Munich with a global network of production facilities. The two partnership agreements cover research, development, production, processing and export.

At CNA2020, the Kinectrics-sponsored Starting Your Nuclear Career event is set for Wednesday, February 26 from 15:00 to 17:00. This career information seminar is open to student delegates. It will feature recruitment professionals and a resume review from some of Canada’s leading nuclear companies.

Find the complete conference schedule at https://cna.ca/cna2020/program/.

To register, please visit https://cna.ca/cna2020/registration/.

Uncategorized

Lessons learned from the Pickering nuclear alert

Sunday morning, an emergency alert was sent out across Ontario about an incident at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. The alert was mistakenly sent during a routine test by the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre, which coordinates the government’s response to major emergencies.

The alert brought nuclear to the forefront, along with many misconceptions about Ontario’s largest provider of clean and reliable electricity. This is what we’ve learned.

The industry is prepared to respond in the event of an emergency

“OPG has a sophisticated and robust notification process in place that we would immediately follow in the unlikely event of an incident at the station,” Chief Nuclear Officer Sean Granville said.

Reporting to the Ministry of the Solicitor General, Emergency Management Ontario would manage the off-site response to nuclear emergencies. It would determine the appropriate level of public action based on the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan.

This 200-page plan, which was last revised in 2017, provides clear instructions to every municipality that has a nuclear station within its jurisdiction. Local police, fire and ambulance crews implement the emergency plans.

Each of the three nuclear stations in Ontario (Pickering, Darlington and Bruce) also has its own plan and world-class emergency preparedness group.

The nuclear industry has a rigorous regulatory regime

The nuclear industry has one of the most rigorous regulatory regimes in the world. All Canadian nuclear operators work with the Word Association of Nuclear Operations to achieve the highest possible standards of nuclear safety. They also work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies. An IAEA report showed that Canada has established and maintains a robust and comprehensive nuclear security infrastructure.

As well, at any given time, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has dedicated inspectors onsite at each of Canada’s nuclear power plants. It performs thousands of inspections annually to ensure Canada’s nuclear generating stations are operating safely. In 2017, the CNSC awarded OPG’s Pickering and Darlington stations its highest safety rating.

Ontario’s nuclear generating stations provide clean and reliable electricity

In 2018, the Pickering, Bruce and Darlington nuclear stations generated 60 per cent of Ontario’s electricity. It was their power that allowed OPG to close its coal-fired power plants, significantly reducing the province’s greenhouse gas emissions.

On a lifecycle basis, electricity from nuclear power generates an average of 16 g of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt hour. That’s more than hydro (4 g) and wind (12 g), but less than solar (22 g for concentrated solar power [CSP] or 46 g for photovoltaic [PV]). That compares to natural gas at 469 g/kWh and coal at 1,001 g/kWh.

In Canada alone, nuclear energy helps avoid 80 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. That’s about the same as taking 15 million passenger vehicles off the road.

Located east of Toronto, the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station is one of the largest nuclear stations in the world. It operates six CANDU reactors. The facility has been safely and reliably providing Ontario with electricity since 1971.