AECL has announced the launch of its Advanced Candu Reactor (ACR-700), which is expected to be market ready by 2005.

The capacity of the ACR-700 is 700MWe, and AECL said that it is currently working on the 1000MWe capacity ACR-1000. According to AECL, the ACR design: “Has the advantages of Candu’s proven features such as on-power refuelling and flexible fuel cycle options.” AECL has also said that the ACR has features that will reduce the capital cost to build an ACR plant by up to 40%. These include: a compact core design, reducing core size by half for the same power output; improved thermal efficiency through higher pressure steam turbines; reduced heavy water use and associated cost (one quarter of the heavy water requirement of existing plants); extended fuel life to three times that of existing natural uranium fuel through the use of slightly enriched uranium (SEU) oxide fuel, in Canflux bundles, which also reduces spent fuel volume; and modular, pre-fabricated construction.