Canadian companies collaborate on heavy water recycling

24 September 2020

Canada’s Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability (CCNS) announced an innovative collaboration agreement between Laurentis Energy Partners (LEP) and BWXT Canada Ltd (BWXT) to develop technology that will assist in the recycling of heavy water at OPG’s nuclear facilities.

The project will develop new technology to recycle heavy water used to cool and moderate Candu pressurised heavy-water reactors such as those in OPG’s Pickering and Darlington nuclear plants. Once recycled, the heavy water will be utilised in a growing number of non-nuclear applications that include pharmaceuticals, medical diagnostics and next generation electronics, including fibre optics.

OPG recently launched the CCNS to support sustainable innovative solutions for the clean energy lifecycle of nuclear infrastructure. By identifying opportunities and aligning projects, the CCNS will lead the industry to provide a safe, cost effective, environmentally and socially responsible decommissioning of OPG’s nuclear assets.

“The Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability provides the opportunity for industry leaders to combine their research and expertise to support innovative and sustainable solutions in nuclear lifecycle management,” said Carla Carmichael, Vice President of Nuclear Decommissioning Strategies for OPG. “This made in Ontario solution for heavy water management will further bolster Laurentis Energy Partners’ reputation as a leading innovator in worldwide nuclear solutions,” said Jason Van Wart, LEP Vice President.

LEP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation formed in 2012. It provides inspection, maintenance, engineering, and project management services for the nuclear, and hydroelectric power generation industries.

Pickering's six Candu units are scheduled to close by 2024. While Pickering remains in active service, OPG says upfront preparatory work for the end of commercial operations will ensure the station is ready for eventual shutdown.

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