Bruce Power and Areva NP signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 8 August under which they agreed to explore opportunities to commercialise radioisotope production capabilities at the Bruce NPP in Ontario. Areva NP design and will supply equipment to be installed in the Brice Candu units to enable online production of isotopes. Under an earlier agreement signed in December 2014 the two companies undertook to evaluate the feasibility of developing online radioisotope production at the Bruce plant.
This will allow the plant to produce shorter half-life isotopes - such as molybdenum-99, lutetium-177 and iridium-192 - using a system that inserts and removes targets with little impact on the normal operation of the reactors. The process will use Areva NP's patent-pending method of producing radioisotopes using a heavy water NPP.
The 6,400MWe Bruce power plant comprises eight Candu reactors at two generating stations - units 1-4 at Bruce A and units 5-8 at Bruce B. The plant is undergoing major refurbishment that will give six of its eight units an additional 30-35 years of operating life. Units 1 and 2 at Bruce A have already been refurbished. Areva has provided outage, engineering, maintenance and staffing services to Bruce Power and other Canadian nuclear facilities for a number of years.