Fifty years of Nuclear Power in Canada

TORONTO, June 1, 2012 /CNW/ - June 4, 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of nuclear power in Canada.

At a remote location just east of Rolphton, Ontario (about two hours west of Ottawa), electricity flowed into the Ontario grid for the first time on June 4, 1962.

Known as "Nuclear Power Demonstration", or NPD, the achievement was modest in size: approximately 20 megawatts of power - enough to supply about 10,000 homes.

As a milestone in Canadian engineering however, NPD was momentous:  it marked the birth of the CANDU reactor, one of only two fundamental power reactor concepts to reach commercial operation around the globe.

NPD showed that a power reactor could operate on "natural uranium" (not needing uranium enrichment) and be refuelled at full power (not needing long refuelling shutdowns) - two characteristics that still set CANDU apart today.

The project was an unprecedented collaboration of federal, provincial, and private interests:  Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Ontario Hydro (now Ontario Power Generation), and Canadian General Electric (now GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada).

Over the 25 years that NPD operated, CANDU technology grew to become the largest source of electricity in Ontario, today providing about half the province's power from three multi-unit stations.

Two other CANDU reactors in Quebec and New Brunswick complete the Canadian fleet, while twelve others operate in South Korea, China, Romania, India, Pakistan, and Argentina.

Honoured in 1987 as one of the "top ten" Canadian engineering achievements of the past century, CANDU technology is represented today by CANDU Energy Incorporated, located in Mississauga, Ontario.

The Canadian Nuclear Society congratulates the thousands of men and women that have made this unique Canadian technology a global success over the last fifty years, providing a low-cost, low-emission energy option that Canadians can be proud of.

The Canadian Nuclear Society is a not-for-profit technical society representing the men and women that work in Canadian nuclear science and technology, with a goal of promoting communication on nuclear technology.  Website: www.cns-snc.ca 

SOURCE Canadian Nuclear Society

For further information:

Jeremy Whitlock, CNS Communications Director, email: whitlockj@aecl.ca, cell: 613-639-5261

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