Cameco and Bruce Power support next generation nuclear technologies

24 August 2020

Canada’s Cameco and Bruce Power have announced a series of initiatives, including the establishment of a centre for next generation nuclear technologies, to leverage their existing partnership to help restart the Canadian economy, protect the environment and fight diseases such as COVID-19.

In addition, further to the Bruce Power life-extension programme and an existing long-term supply agreement, Cameco and Bruce Power announced the supply of specialised fuel bundles for unit 6, scheduled for restart in 2024.

Expanding their partnership, as founding members of the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII), Bruce Power and Cameco announced the launch of the NII Centre for Next Generation Nuclear Technologies to identify post-COVID economic, environmental and health-care opportunities. NII is an Ontario-based not-for-profit organisation set up in 2018 to accelerate innovation in the Canadian nuclear industry.

The new centre will focus on next generation nuclear technologies by advancing the existing expertise of suppliers, regulators and operators to support future economic, environmental and export opportunities for Ontario, Saskatchewan and beyond. Innovations would support  technologies such as small modular reactors (SMRs), medical isotopes and hydrogen development, a statement said. The centre will also look at how the Bruce Power site output can be further enhanced with new technologies and as foundational enablers.

Bruce Power President and CEO Mike Renchecksaid: “Our focus, through the Centre, on next generation nuclear technology is anchored on the basis of building from our existing assets including life extension and efficiencies, partnerships and supply chain. This has the potential to fully leverage existing assets, reducing the need for more costly new generation in the future, creating a foundation for new medical isotopes and a hydrogen economy all while laying the foundation for new nuclear such as SMRs.”

Cameco and Bruce Power will also expand their role in support of the production of medical isotopes. With its facility in Cobourg, Cameco will contribute its expertise to the development of Bruce Power’s new Isotope Production System being developed by its partner Isogen for the production of Lutetium-177.

The Bruce Power life-extension programme will continue to be a key economic driver with a new arrangement for start-up fuel to be provided by Cameco when Bruce Power’s nuclear reactors are ready to return to service following Major Component Replacement, beginning with the unit 6 reactor. Cameco will supply 1600 specialised fuel bundles for the safe restart of unit 6. This builds on the existing fuel arrangements between the two organizations announced in 2017 which was estimated to be worth $2 billion at the time over the life of the contracts.

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