AECL dishes out $15 million in contracts for ACR-1000 development

7 May 2009

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) has signed contracts with 18 Canadian manufacturers to build components for its Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR-1000) to ready the reactor design for domestic and international sale. Contracts issued total nearly $15 million.

Speaking to delegates at the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) Annual General Meeting in Ottawa, AECL President & CEO, Hugh MacDiarmid, explained how AECL was working with Canadian manufacturers to ensure suppliers are ready for future CANDU reactor builds.

"The ACR is Canada's newest version of our highly successful CANDU power reactor and will be our premier offering to the domestic and international marketplace", said MacDiarmid. "To date, AECL has invested more than $500 million to bring us to this point, and now we're working closely with our suppliers to help validate and finalize the ACR design."

MacDiarmid cited a recent Conference Board of Canada study that estimates if AECL and its Team CANDU partners were to build four reactors here in Canada and a further eight internationally, it would generate close to 500,000 person-years of new jobs for Canadians.

According to MacDiarmid, Canada's manufacturing and construction industries have a tremendous opportunity to benefit from the global nuclear revitalization: "This is about thousands of highly skilled, well paying, long-term jobs, and in these economic times, we need to uncover opportunities for Canada's workforce."

The CANDU qualified manufacturers working on the ACR-1000 component qualification include Nu-Tech Precision Metals of Arnprior, Ontario, who will manufacture a series of seamless CANDU calandria tubes and B.C. Instruments of Schomberg, Ontario, who are producing feeder connections. These, and other suppliers including Sulzer Pumps Canada Inc. of Burnaby, B.C., and Contro Valve Inc. of Brossard, Quebec, join AECL's growing supply chain of almost 700 companies, including the 120 members of the Organization of CANDU Industries. These CANDU qualified suppliers are ready for the resurgence of the CANDU nuclear industry.

AECL is finalizing details for an additional $10 million in component qualification contracts to be awarded to Canadian manufacturers.

The ACR-1000 is Atomic Energy of Canada's evolutionary, Gen III+ (according to the US DOE), 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 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.


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