Monday, June 29, 2015

Britain, Canada to strengthen cooperation on nuclear energy

Some CANDU news that might indicate steps towards "solving the UK's plutonium challenge"

Britain, Canada to strengthen cooperation on nuclear energy | Reuters:
image from Candu Energy
Britain and Canada signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Monday to strengthen ties between the two countries' nuclear energy industries.

The MoU was signed in London by Canada's High Commissioner Gordon Campbell and Lee McDonough, director of the Office of Nuclear Development for the UK Department of Climate Change.

It is aimed at enhancing cooperation on uranium supply; reactor design, construction, operation and decommissioning; alternative and advanced fuel cycle design; research and development and workforce skills.

Canadian reactor maker Candu Energy and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada are exploring solutions for the reuse of Britain's civil plutonium and recovered uranium stockpiles in its heavy-water reactors."
Candu Energy is owned by SNC-Lavalin, who made the news recently in leading a consortium announced as the preferred candidate to run another segment surviving AECL, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories.

SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) is proud to announce that the Canadian Nuclear Energy Alliance (CNEA) has been named the preferred bidder for the management of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), currently a subsidiary of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). CNEA includes SNC-Lavalin, CH2M, Fluor and EnergySolutions, with Rolls-Royce in a supporting role.
CNEA brings international site management, operations, decommissioning and waste management experience to support the Government of Canada’s three key missions. In particular, SNC-Lavalin brings its experience as a nuclear reactor vendor and service provider in Canada and its strength as the number one engineering, procurement and construction firm in Canada.
SNC-Lavalin is currently pursuing CANDU new build opportunities in Argentina, China, Romania and the United Kingdom.
Notable here is the inclusion of Rolls-Royce "in a supporting role" as CANDU new builds in Argentina and Romania are to be built by companies from China - new build opportunities in China are also a result of a fuel flexibility aspect of the CANDU technology.

Addendum June 30

"Your nuclear news" has posted Candu Energy welcomes new phase of Canada-UK nuclear energy cooperation
"This MOU galvanizes joint R&D, regulatory co-operation, technology transfer and investment into the UK nuclear sector and has the potential to unlock a powerful energy source for UK electricity consumers," said Preston Swafford, President and CEO, Candu Energy.
The signing comes as Candu Energy's CANMOX™ proposal to reuse the UK's civil plutonium and recovered uranium stockpiles is being presented today to the UK's nuclear supply chain at a meeting organized by the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Suppliers at Canada House in London.
The proposed CANMOX™ solution has been noted as being "credible" by the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority; the signing of this MOU establishes the means and processes by which such a project could be adopted.
"Candu welcomes this constructive step forward and will work diligently with UK stakeholders and the UK nuclear supply chain to present a safe, reliable and affordable solution to reuse the country's legacy stockpiles," said Swafford.
The MOU encourages and facilitates closer relationships between government agencies, regulatory authorities, academic and financial institutions in:
-- Uranium supply
-- Reactor design, construction, operation and decommissioning
-- Adaptation of designs to use alternative and advanced fuel cycles that support the safe and proper disposition of legacy material
--Development of workforce skills through partnerships between academic institutions, suppliers and operators
-- Joint R&D prioritization
The CANMOX solution would involve building a mixed oxide (MOX) fuel plant and four Generation III Enhanced CANDU 6® (EC6®) reactors to produce 3,000 MWe of competitive, low carbon power for over 60 years. This amount of electricity is capable of powering 500,000 UK homes.
"We are excited about the future of nuclear energy development in the UK and the potential to reuse legacy materials as fuel for a new generation of power plants," said Swafford. "On-budget and on-schedule construction of the EC6 reactors will generate enduring economic benefits, providing a large number of high-quality jobs in construction and manufacturing followed by approximately 2,400 long-term operational jobs at the fuel plant and reactors."
Mark Ward, President & CEO of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada, is quoted by Penn Energy; "The signing of this MoU is a very positive step in bringing heavy water reactor technology back to the UK."

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