Candu Energy Inc. has signed an expanded agreement with China National Nuclear Corporation’s subsidiary companies, Third Qinshan Nuclear Power Company (TQNPC), China North Nuclear Fuel Corporation (CNNFC) and Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) to continue cooperation in the development of recycled uranium and thorium as alternative fuels for new CANDU reactors.
With a 24-month duration, the agreement is expected to result in a detailed conceptual design of the Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactor (AFCR), which is optimized for use of recycled uranium and thorium fuel.
“Candu is committed to customer-driven partnerships and innovation, and we will continue to work closely with the Chinese regulator as well as our end-customer throughout this process,” said Ala Alizadeh, Candu’s senior vice president of marketing & business development. “At the completion of the agreement, we expect to have the basis of a pre-project agreement for two AFCR units in China, including site allocation and the definition of the licensing basis.”
The agreement follows the successful demonstration irradiation of recycled uranium fuel bundles in operating CANDU reactors at the Qinshan site, about 150 km southwest of Shanghai. The tests demonstrated the feasibility of using natural uranium equivalent (NUE) fuel, composed of recycled uranium and depleted uranium in CANDU reactors. The parties are now working on a project to convert the Qinshan CANDU reactor units to full core use of NUE fuel by 2014.