MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - Candu Energy Inc. has signed an expanded agreement with China National Nuclear Corporation's subsidiary companies, Third Qinshan Nuclear Power Company (TQNPC), China North Nuclear Fuel Corporation (CNNFC) and Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) to continue co-operation in the development of recycled uranium and thorium as alternative fuels for new CANDU® reactors.
With a 24-month duration, the agreement is expected to result in a detailed conceptual design of the Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactor (AFCR). The AFCR is a further evolution of the successful CANDU 6® and Generation III Enhanced CANDU 6®, which is optimized for use of recycled uranium and thorium fuel.
"Candu is committed to customer-driven partnerships and innovation, and we will continue to work closely with the Chinese regulator as well as our end-customer throughout this process," said Ala Alizadeh, Candu's Senior Vice President of Marketing & Business Development. "At the completion of the agreement, we expect to have the basis of a pre-project agreement for two AFCR units in China, including site allocation and the definition of the licensing basis."
The agreement follows the successful demonstration irradiation of recycled uranium fuel bundles in operating CANDU reactors at the Qinshan site, about 150 km southwest of Shanghai. The tests demonstrated the feasibility of using natural uranium equivalent (NUE) fuel, composed of recycled uranium and depleted uranium in CANDU reactors. The parties are now working on a project to convert the Qinshan CANDU reactor units to full core use of NUE fuel by 2014.
The agreement marks the third phase of cooperation between Canada and China. Beginning in 2008, it demonstrates not only the use of recovered uranium but also thorium in CANDU reactors and serves as evidence of Candu's commitment to customer driven partnerships and the CANDU reactor's inherent capability to use alternative fuels. This CANDU flexibility offers a unique opportunity to realize closed fuels cycles in countries that have both CANDU and LWR reactors.
"CANDU technology can make a major contribution to reducing China's dependence on imported nuclear fuel resources," said Frank Yee, Candu's Chief Nuclear Engineer. "China has abundant thorium resources, and can use recycled uranium in the most efficient and cost effective manner in our commercially proven reactor designs with minimal changes."
Candu will build on 50 years of Canadian thorium fuel research, development and demonstration, including work over the past three years with its Chinese partners which successfully tested alternative fuels in commercial CANDU reactors in that country.
Candu Energy Inc. 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 reactors supply approximately 50% of Ontario's electricity and 16% of Canada's overall electricity requirements. Internationally, they are an important component of clean air energy programs on four continents with over 22,000 megawatts of installed capacity. Candu develops products to deliver safe, reliable, affordable and CO2-free energy with a view to the future, while meeting the global nuclear industry's highest safety and regulatory standards.
SOURCE: Candu Energy Inc.
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