MARCH 30, 2021
Toronto, ON – Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability (CCNS) has joined forces with Moltex Energy on a project aimed at recycling used fuel from CANDU reactors.
OPG’s CCNS will provide $1 million in funding to assist Moltex in demonstrating the technical viability of a new process to recycle used CANDU fuel.
When removed from an operating reactor, used CANDU fuel still contains energy. Moltex’ process would extract the remaining energy source and prepare it for use as new fuel in other advanced reactor designs, potentially reducing the volume of the material requiring long-term storage in a Deep Geological Repository.
The project would contribute to the development of Moltex’ WAste To Stable Salt (WATSS) technology, which could lead to a more sustainable form of nuclear power.
Who is involved?
- OPG’s Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability launched in 2020 with a focus on advancing nuclear innovation, collaboration and research to seek solutions for minimizing nuclear materials and recycle clean materials.
- Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), through its Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative is supporting the design, construction and optimization of the testing apparatus.
- The University of New Brunswick is involved in the project in a research and testing capacity.
- NB Power is interested in progressing the development and potentially siting the first WATSS facility to power a 300 MW Stable Salt Reactor – Wasteburner (SSR-W) at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station site.
- The project has also received significant federal funding support.
“Our goal is to advance solutions for nuclear materials, with a continued emphasis on minimizing our environmental footprint,” says Carla Carmichael, Vice President, Nuclear Decommissioning Strategy and Lead for OPG’s Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability. “We know nuclear power has a key role to play as we work to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed to supporting innovation and responsible solutions aimed at developing the next generation of clean nuclear power.”
“We are working to develop a technology that uses the fuel from the first generation of nuclear power in Canada to power the next,” said Rory O’Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer, North America, Moltex Energy. “This reduces the challenges associated with spent nuclear fuel, while expanding nuclear power to help Canada achieve its climate change objectives.”
“Through our Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative, we have been working with Moltex on their development program,” said Dr. Gina Strati, Head of CNL’s Advanced Reactor Directorate. “This is an excellent opportunity to optimize resources, share technical knowledge, and for the industry to gain access to CNL’s expertise to help advance the commercialization of SMR technologies, which will play a role in the necessary future clean energy mix.”
“Small modular reactors will provide an important solution to climate change and future energy demand,” said Keith Cronkhite, NB Power President and Chief Executive Officer. “This is another example of the excellent collaboration as part of the Pan-Canadian Framework to advance small modular reactor technology.”