Canada's new reactor on course
As governments and utilities
on both sides of the Atlantic look towards replacing and
expanding nuclear capacity, Canada's ACR-700 reactor
seems to have bright prospects. The type is developed
from the well-proven Candu-6 which has been built by
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) in Canada, China,
South Korea, Romania and Argentina.
The ACR retains the heavy water moderation feature of its
predecessors but substitutes light water for the cooling,
has a much smaller core using low-enriched uranium, and
runs at a higher temperature. It utilises several passive
safety features. Units will be assembled from
prefabricated modules, eventually cutting construction
time to three years. Cost will be well below the Candu-6,
though recent reactors of that type have been built under
budget and ahead of schedule.
The ACR is moving towards design certification in Canada
and the USA, as well as the UK. In the USA the design
certification application is due to be lodged in 2005,
and there is also a Combined Construction and Operating
Licence (COL) application pending (see US story). Both
should be issued then in 2008, while Canadian
certification is expected earlier. Accordingly, AECL
expects that the first units will be operating in Canada
about 2012, and in the USA about 2013.
The new reactor will be put together from modules, and
AECL anticipates having major components built in US
shipyards, using a high degree of standardisation of
On the basis of its several recent Asian construction
successes, AECL is projecting the lead unit cost at US$
1255 per kilowatt, with later units under $1100/kWe. The
ACR is designed to be built in pairs, and construction
time is estimated at 44 months for the first unit
reducing to 36 months for the fifth and subsequent ones.
Such is the confidence of AECL that it plans to offer
fixed price contracts to buyers.
A larger version of the type - the ACR-1000 - is under
development, and beyond that AECL has the Candu-X on the
drawing board - a supercritical reactor and step forward
from the ACR which is expected to be available about 2020.
Zdroj: Nucleonics Week
zpět na úvodní