AECL's Advanced CANDU Reactor(R) (ACR-1000(R)) Achieves Important Milestone of Canadian Regulator's Pre-Project Design Review

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 20 /CNW/ - The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
(CNSC) has completed Phase 1 of a Pre-Project Design Review of Atomic Energy
of Canada Limited's (AECL) Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR-1000). The conclusion
is that, at the high level, the ACR-1000 design is compliant with Canadian
regulations. With completion of Phase 1, the CNSC has begun Phase 2 of the
two-step Pre-Project Design Review.
    "The CNSC has determined in this preliminary stage of their review that
the ACR-1000 is a robust reactor design," says AECL President and CEO Hugh
MacDiarmid. "We welcome this news as business activity to build new nuclear
reactor plants continues to surge around the world, including interest in the
CANDU(R) design."
    The objective of a Pre-Project Design review is to verify, at a high
level, the acceptability of a nuclear reactor design with respect to Canadian
safety requirements and criteria. This includes the identification of
fundamental barriers to licensing a new reactor design in Canada.
    The CNSC Phase 1 Pre-Project Design Review of the ACR-1000 concluded

    -   AECL has provided sufficient design and analysis information for the
purpose of this review;

    -   At an overall level, the design intent is compliant with the CNSC
regulatory requirements, and meets the expectations for new nuclear power
plants in Canada; and,

    -   CNSC staff did not find any issues that would lead to significant
reactor design changes.

    "We are confident in the merits of the ACR-1000 as it's built on the
fundamentals of our CANDU reactor design, including the CANDU 6, which has
been built on-time and on-budget on four continents in the last 12 years,"
says MacDiarmid. "We want to build the first ACR-1000 on Canadian soil, so the
Canadian regulator's review process is extremely important to us."
    Phase 2 of the Pre-Project Design Review will identify any potential
fundamental barriers to licensing the design in Canada, and is scheduled for
completion in August 2009.

    About the ACR-1000

    The ACR-1000 is Atomic Energy of Canada's evolutionary, Gen III+((*)), 1200
MWe-class pressure tube reactor. It is a light water cooled, heavy water
moderated pressure tube reactor derived from the well-established CANDU line.
    The ACR-1000 retains the basic, well-proven, features of the CANDU plant
design such as a modular, horizontal fuel channel core, a low-temperature
heavy-water moderator, water-filled vault, two independent diverse shutdown
systems, on-power fuelling, simple fuel design and reactor building
accessibility for on-power maintenance.

    ((*))  Gen III+ is the classification given to nuclear technologies by the
US Department of Energy, applying to reactor designs that feature enhanced
safety, economics and operability. The ACR-1000 is one of the technologies
considered to be a Generation III+ design.

    About AECL

    Atomic Energy of Canada Limited is a full-service nuclear technology
company providing services to nuclear utilities around the world. Established
in 1952, AECL is the designer and builder of CANDU technology, including the
CANDU 6, one of the world's top performing reactors. AECL's 5,000 employees
deliver cutting edge nuclear services, R&D support, design and engineering,
construction management, specialized technology, refurbishment, waste
management and decommissioning in support of CANDU reactor products.

For further information:

For further information: Dale Coffin, Director, Corporate
Communications, AECL, (905) 403-7457

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