MISSISSAUGA, June 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Candu Energy Inc. (Candu) is pleased to announce it has engaged with the United Kingdom's (UK) Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to assist in providing alternative full lifecycle approaches for managing that country's fissile material stocks. The UK's preferred method is to re-use the material as mixed oxide (MOX) fuel.
"This is a great opportunity to build on the neutron efficient fundamentals of CANDU® technology which easily allows the use of alternate fuels without changing its core design," said Ala Alizadeh, Candu's Senior Vice President, Marketing & Business Development. "CANDU technology is well-suited to deliver a timely and cost effective disposition of UK fissile material stocks based on proven design."
Candu has demonstrated its ability to safely and efficiently use alternate fuels, including spent fuels from other technologies, in the Qinshan reactor in China and in the recycling of MOX fuel in AECL's Chalk River reactor in Canada. CANDU reactors have the ability to run 100% MOX fuel with no loss in electricity production and have a proven track record of on-schedule, on-budget international project delivery.
The study will culminate this year in a report on the commercial feasibility of building Generation III Enhanced Candu 6® (EC6®) reactors in the UK, burning MOX fuel and producing power for the consumer together with constructing the associated infrastructure and facilities needed to manufacture CANDU MOX fuel.
"This study re-opens the door to introduce CANDU technology," said Alizadeh. "A positive outcome of the study will allow us to re-engage with the UK regulator in licensing our evolutionary EC6." Candu will build on its earlier technical studies where MOX fuel was manufactured and tested in-core.
About the EC6
The Enhanced CANDU 6 (EC6) is a 700 MWe class heavy-water moderated and heavy-water cooled pressure tube reactor. An evolution of the highly successful CANDU 6 reactor, it is the only commercialized reactor offering flexible fuelling arrangements from traditional natural uranium to natural uranium equivalent and reprocessed uranium fuels and to many advanced fuels such as thorium and MOX. This fuel flexibility is combined with superior safety performance and economics, high reliability, flexible load capabilities, very high localization potential and easy integration into existing grid system. Earlier this year, The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) completed Phase 2 of a Pre-Project Design Review of the Enhanced EC6, concluding there are no fundamental barriers to licensing the EC6 design in Canada.
Heavy water is a natural form of water used as a moderator to slow down the fission chain reaction neutrons in the reactor. It is one of the most efficient moderators, is fundamental to the CANDU design and allows great fuel flexibility. All CANDU reactor operators fabricate their own fuel increasing their energy independence and creating a locally staffed fuel infrastructure without the need for reprocessing.
Candu is a leading full-service nuclear technology company providing nuclear power reactors and nuclear products and services to customers worldwide. Our 1,400 highly skilled employees design and deliver state-of-the-art CANDU reactors, carry out life extension projects, provide plant life management programs and tools, and offer operation and maintenance services for existing nuclear power stations.
Candu is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Inc. (TSX: SNC).