Monday, November 10, 2014

Candu Energy sees promising future

“There’s a lot of exciting things [happening] for Candu that I don’t think any of us would have recognized five years ago.” -Candu Energy President and CEO Preston Swafford

A double: promising developments for CANDU technology, and some nice press coverage in Toronto!

In China, Candu Energy sees promising future - The Globe and Mail
Jean Chr├ętien was in a good mood when he came to Shanghai in late 1996 to sell two Candu reactors. He kidded around with Li Peng, the then-Chinese premier, going so far as to try to place a red pompon on the head of the famously dour leader. Mr. Chr├ętien promised a future filled with more multibillion-dollar sales of Canadian nuclear technology to China. “I hope we will have many more Candus built in this great country of yours,” he said then.
Graphic grom Candu: Advanced Fuel CANDU reactor (.pdf)
For the nearly two decades that followed, that optimism bore no fruit.
Now, however, Candu Energy – divorced from the federal government and in the hands of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. – says it is working toward a deal that could see it partner with a Chinese nuclear giant to build new reactors, both in China and abroad.
By June, 2015, Candu hopes to finalize a joint-venture deal with China National Nuclear Corp., the massive state-owned atomic power and weapons company, “to develop global opportunities” for its advanced fuel reactor. The two sides signed an initial broad-strokes memorandum of understanding during the visit of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Beijing this weekend.

In the past week, a technical committee led by CNNC also gave its approval to the technology Candu intends to use, classifying it as a third-generation nuclear system that can meet post-Fukushima safety requirements.
Continue reading at The Globe and Mail

See also: New Candu reactors clear hurdle in China in the Toronto Star

Please also see CANDU 6 shares the load with light water reactors in China and South Korea. The Donald Jones article, posted in July, includes a performance history of CANDU reactors in China and South Korea.

Nuclear Engineering International has much more on this in AFCR: Transcending natural uranium fuel cycles
The AFCR is a 740 MWe heavy water- moderated, heavy water-cooled pressure tube reactor. It has evolved from the CANDU 6 plants licensed and operating in five countries (four continents) with more than 150 reactor years of safe operation. In recent years, this global CANDU 6 reactor fleet has repeatedly ranked in the world's top performing reactors.
The AFCR is designed to use advanced fuel cycles: derivatives of recycled uranium (DRU) and low-enriched uranium/thorium (LEU/Th) fuels. DRU fuel is a mixture of dysprosium and recycled uranium (reprocessed from LWR spent fuel) with slightly higher U-235 content than NU fuel, and higher burnup. These fuels reduce dependence on NU and offer the opportunity to use previously-unused LWR uranium feedstock (that is reprocessed) efficiently and economically in a reactor design that has already been commercially proven.
The main driver of the AFCR programme is to increase the sustainability and availability of fuel resources in China, using DRU and LEU/
Th fuels. Using DRU fuel in the AFCR results in a front-end fuel cycle cost ~32% lower than the traditional NU-fuelled reactor designs and
~128% lower than representative advanced LWR designs. The front-end fuel cycle cost of LEU/Th fuel is expected to be comparable to
DRU fuel.
This superior utilisation capability is particularly appealing to countries with limited uranium resources. The utilisation of abundant indigenous thorium sources reduces dependency on foreign uranium fuel.
Additionally, the successful demonstration of LEU/Th fuel implementation creates a path for more advanced thorium fuel applications, such as plutonium/thorium fuel, which have a larger potential for greater economic and resource utilisation benefits.
...The AFCR is synergistic with current and planned LWR reprocessing technologies around the globe. It uses an undesired by- product (in the form of RU), to both produce power and provide a near-term path forward for implementing advanced and sustainable alternative fuel technologies, such as LEU/Th, CANMOXTM and Pu/Th fuels.
The AFCR design is based on the proven CANDU reactor design and incorporates numerous technological enhancements in terms of safety features, design margins and fuel utilisation...

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