Nuclear Innovation - Candu Energy Inc.

candu.com

Nuclear Innovation - Candu Energy Inc.

A SPONSORED FEATURE BY MEDIAPLANETNovember 2013NUCLEAR INNOVATIONA FRESH APPROACHTO NUCLEARNineteen-year-old physicist Taylor Wilsonis urging the next generation to think nuclear.PHOTO: JAMES DUNCAN DAVIDSONINNOVATION CENTRALFrom labto marketFeaturingLOOKING ABROADExporting Canada’snuclear expertiseAS GOOD AS NEWA commitmentto refurbishment


2 · NOVEMBER 2013A SPONSORED FEATURE BY MEDIAPLANETCHALLENGESThrough a commitment to nuclear energy innovation,Ontario has vowed to create jobs, stimulate ourhost regions and provide CO2 emission-freeenergy for the next generation.2FIND EXCLUSIVE ONLINE CONTENT AT:CA.MEDIAPLANET.COM/NUCLEAR-ENERGYMEDIAPLANETCA1 31. Promation Nuclear calibrates its robotics for reactor refurbishment. PHOTO: PROMATION2. Minister Chiarelli tours Bruce Power nuclear facility in October. PHOTO: BRUCE POWER3. In April, Minister Chiarelli toured Hydro Ottawa’s training facility. PHOTO: HYDRO OTTAWAEDITOR’SPICKNuclear energy:powering Ontario and its futureBob ChiarelliONTARIO MINISTER OF ENERGYOntario`s nuclearindustry notonly powers oureconomy butdrives it as well.Almost half theenergy we useto power our schools, our homesand our businesses comes fromnuclear generation.Pursuing excellenceThe nuclear sector in Ontariois extremely diverse. Wehave an impressive safety record,an innovative manufacturingindustry and a highly-skilledwork force.From the 3,300 employees ofBruce Nuclear, to the state of the artmanufacturing facility at Babcock& Wilcox in Cambridge, to the firstof-itskind, Darlington Energy Com-Almost half theenergy we use topower our schools,our homes andour businessescomes from nucleargeneration.plex, Ontario is well positioned toglobally market our unique skills,expertise and homegrown businesses.In fact, Ontario-driventechnology, skills and expertisecan be found in nuclear facilitiesall around the globe.Our planOur government reaffirmed ourcommitment to the nuclear industryjust last month when weconfirmed the refurbishment ofthe Bruce and Darlington siteswill be included in the 2013 LongTerm Energy Plan, meaning nuclearwill remain the backbone ofour electricity system and economyfor years to come.It is estimated the refurbishmentprojects will create 25,000jobs and inject $5 billion intoour economy.Nuclear is and will continueto be a strong player in both oureconomy and electricity system.MIN. BOB CHIARELLI5 PAGESafety firsteditorial@mediaplanet.comINNOVATION ABROADCanadian companies have animpressive record and reputationwhen it comes to innovation in theglobal energy sector, and nuclearpower generation plays a significantpart in that success.There is a long history of demand for Canadianexperience and expertise when it comes to safeand reliable electricity generation.NUCLEAR INNOVATION1ST EDITION, NOVEMBER 2013Publisher: Ian SolnickManaging Director: Joshua NagelLead Designer: Alana GiordanoDesigner: Laura ShawContributors: Jeff Benjamin,Dr. Michael Binder, Min. Bob Chiarelli,M. Macit Cobanoglu, Ron Oberth,Joe Rosengarten, Andrew Seale,Joseph ZwetlowitzSend all inquiries toeditorial@mediaplanet.comDistributed within:The Toronto Star, November 2013This section was created by Mediaplanetand did not involve Toronto Staror its Editorial Departments.Demand overseasNuclear may just be Canada’s most successful,and sought after, energy technology export,with Canadian-designed CANDU nuclear reactorsoperating successfully in six differentcountries around the world.“The role of Canadian nuclear suppliers in thecreation and success of nuclear projects abroadis extremely important,” explained Ala Alizadeh,who is the Senior Vice President of Marketingand Business Development at Candu Energy.“When Canadian nuclear suppliers first enteredthe international market, in the 70s, weused the experience that we had gained inbuilding many reactors domestically. Largeinternational projects would utilize a diversesupply chain of up to 150 small and mediumsized companies.”Between the mid 90s and 2007, Canadian nuclearsuppliers were responsible for buildingseven CANDU reactors overseas — three units inSouth Korea, two in Romania and two in China.“The so called Nuclear Renaissance did notreally take off in the way that was projectedfive years ago,” explained Alizadeh. “This ismainly due to lower gas prices, the discovery ofshale gas and, in the last couple of years, Fukishimahas created a bit of a pause as countriesreviewed their nuclear programs.”Diversified expertiseThis slow down in global production hasn’thalted Canadian activity abroad. Reactor lifeextension projects — refurbishing and retubingunits that are reaching the end of theirfirst half of life — are big business in the nuclearsupply chain. The refurbishment of theWolsong 1 plant in South Korea has recentlybeen completed, and work on refurbishing theEmbalse plant in Argentina has begun.The development of alternative and flexiblefuel cycles is another aspect in which Canadianexpertise is being utilized abroad.Over the past 3 years Candu Energy has beenworking with Chinese partners to develop anefficient closed fuel cycle, a process in whichAla AlizadehSENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETINGAND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT,CANDU ENERGYthe waste from light water reactors (recovereduranium) is used to power the heavy waterCANDU units, creating new electricity.Recovered uranium still has a fissile content ofaround one per cent, making it powerful enoughto power the Candu reactors installed in China.“As a first step, we targeted the CANDU reactorsin Qinshan, developing a recovered uraniumfuel that we then tested in 2010,” noted Alizadeh.“The tests were successful and they are nowmanufacturing recovered uranium fuel forthe existing CANDU reactors in China. The licensingagreements will be completed in thenext 6 months, so in 2014 the plan is to convertQinshan completely, full core, to a recovereduranium fuel cycle.”Global focusCandu Energy is also working with the UK todevise a plan to dispose of, and utilize, theirstockpile of civilian plutonium. Internationally,holding a large amount of plutonium is notlooked upon very positively, but, because it’ssuch an effective fissile material, there is an opportunityto create a huge amount of electricity.“We have demonstrated to the UK that wecan burn their plutonium efficiently and safely,”said Alizadeh. “It would be a combination ofcreating energy for the grid on one hand, andgetting rid of their plutonium on the other.”Candu has completed its work on assessingthe commercial feasibility of its proposal andis working with the UK to further the project,which could see 4 new CANDU reactors built toburn the plutonium over a period of 30 years.JOE ROSENGARTENeditorial@mediaplanet.com


A SPONSORED FEATURE BY MEDIAPLANET NOVEMBER 2013 · 3NEWSRefurbishment: keeping safety the top priorityAcomplex and highlytechnical undertakingthat spans severalyears, a nuclear refurbishmentmaximizesthe lifespan of a facility through aprocess of inspecting, replacing andupdating key components.“In addition to component repairsand replacement, refurbishing a facilityalso provides opportunities toenhance safety,” explained RamziJammal, Executive Vice-Presidentand Chief Regulatory Operations Officerof the Regulatory OperationsBranch of the Canadian NuclearSafety Commission.Powering Ontario’s futureWhen it’s completed, the mid-life refurbishmentat Ontario Power Generation’s(OPG) Candu reactors at Darlingtonwill play an integral role inensuring that electricity generationacross Ontario remains safe, reliableand clean for another 25 to 30 years.“As with any major project: it’s allabout scope management and control,”explained Vice President of RefurbishmentExecution at OntarioPower Generation, Mark Arnone.“The objective when we startedplanning, in 2010, was to get an assessment,at the component level, ofevery single aspect that needed to befixed or replaced.”Excellence in safetyRecognized worldwide as beingone of the top performing nuclearplants, Darlington is a good choicefor refurbishment. It boasts featuresand technology that allow it to operatereliably and predictably.This reliability is reflected in theplant’s safety record, which is one ofthe best of any nuclear facility operatingin the world today.“Darlington has continuously exceededall expectations in termsof operations, and that really setthe stage for us,” explained RefurbishmentProject Director at OPG,Roy Brown.“But we had to ask some ques-“In addition to component repairs andreplacement, refurbishing a facility also providesopportunities to enhance safety.”tions: does it make sense financially?And, does it make sense in termsof the condition of the equipmentand components at the plant?”When they took all of the factorsinto play, and realized just how gooda condition Darlington was in, andhow much financial sense a refurbishmentat the site made, the OPGBoard of Directors made the decisionto proceed and planning was started.Innovative preparationHistorically, nuclear refurbishmentprojects have seen budget and costtargets exceeded, but the innovativeapproach to planning the Darlingtonrefurbishment has givenproject managers a more realisticset of expectations for each stage ofthe redevelopment.Before entering the planningstages, the project managementteam visited other refurbished nuclearfacilities around the world togauge for success and see if therewere any lessons to be learnt fromthe experiences of others.These discoveries led to the conceptionof the Darlington EnergyCentre, a complex of more than300,000 sq ft that will house a fullscalemock-up of the Darlington reactor.The mock-up allows the Darlingtonworkforce to practice theirjobs in a realistic but controlled environmentthat is dimensionally accurateto the reactors in the station.“It gives us the ability to testand train staff before they work insidethe actual unit,” said Arnone.“Workers will be able to determinethe best ways to do things; the bestway to move about the building andhow to move equipment in and outmost efficiently.”The mock-up station signifiesa step forward in terms ofnuclear refurbishment.So, yes, the meticulous planningof the project will help the projectto finish on schedule, and yes, it willhelp with sticking to budgets. But,most importantly, creating a mockstation allows the staff to learn theirroles completely and proficiently.It’s a ground breaking approachfor the nuclear industry and abig part of why OPG will be readyfor the refurbishment.Safety is the key and, as Jammalpointed out, industry regulationsnow reflect this viewpoint:“For Canadian nuclear power plants,improvements such as the installationof emergency systems andequipment to further strengthenthe plants’ ability to prevent severeaccidents or mitigate their consequences,are regulatory requirementspost-Fukushima,” he said.PHOTO: DARLINGTON NUCLEAR OPGJOE ROSENGARTENeditorial@mediaplanet.comFAST FACTSBy thenumbers:nuclearpower inCanadaNuclear powerprovides more than50 %of electrical energyin OntarioProvides exportsales of$1.2B/yearAND30,000direct jobs:highly skilled,technical, andprofessionalWITHContributions of over$5B/yearto the CanadianeconomySOURCE: OCIeditorial@mediaplanet.com


4 · NOVEMBER 2013A SPONSORED FEATURE BY MEDIAPLANETINSPIRATIONTaylor Wilson is changing the worldWhile most kids’ inclinationwould be to digthrough the craft bucketand fashion one out of constructionpaper and scotch tape, Wilson tooka different approach — he begantinkering with nuclear science.At fourteen years of age, Texarkana,Arkansas native Wilsonbuilt a fusion reactor in his garage,becoming the youngest person onearth to achieve fusion. This was in1994, and Wilson continues to makesignificant breakthroughs.Now, at nineteen, he’s deliveredtwo TED Talks on nuclear science,visited CERN’s Higgs Boson-questinglarge hadron collider, met PresidentBarack Obama to explain the radiationdetection systems he inventedand fashioned a portable system toproduce isotopes for nuclear medicineand cancer treatment.“I’m proud of what I’ve been ableto accomplish but I’m always constantlylooking for the next, evenbigger thing,” says Wilson. “A lot ofthis is about my personality, I’mnever quite content with what I do.”It’s probably a good thing thathe isn’t. Wilson’s game of one-upmanshipagainst himself seems tobe paying dividends for mankindas a whole.Trancending industryBoth the U.S. Department of HomelandSecurity and Departmentof Energy are interested in Wilson’sradiation detection systems,which can be used for counterterrorismand are very cost-efficient(hundreds of dollars versushundreds of thousands).His portable medical isotope productionsystem can be used onsitefor less than $100,000 and drasticallybroadens the reach of nuclear medicine— specifically cancer treatment.“The isotopes that are used totreat and diagnose cancer are currentlyproduced in multi-milliondollar, very large devices,” saysWilson. “The device I developedcan be simply rolled into thehospital room.”Nuclear medicine holds a specialplace in his research — Wilson’sgrandmother was diagnosedwith cancer before he built hisfirst reactor.“Those are the technologies I developedduring my high schoolyears,” says Wilson nonchalantly.When he speaks, he’s incrediblyarticulate for a nineteen-year-oldbut his youthful excitement tricklesout when he talks about the future.“I knew all along that when Igraduated high school, I wanted tostart up a company to commercializemy technologies,” says Wilson.Energy solutionsAt the moment, he’s focused on developingmodular power reactors —they’re smaller than regular nuclearpower plants but can generate anywherefrom two to 100 megawattsof electricity.“I’ve gotsome ideason cancertherapy andcures... I thinkthat’s whereI’m going —maybe afterI solve thewhole energyproblem.”“When they’re completely filledup they can run for 30 years,” explainsthe young nuclear physicist.“They’re fission reactors soyes there’s some pretty gnarlystuff inside the core but unlikea current nuclear power plant, ifthere’s loss of coolant or if there’san earthquake or tsunami, the reactordoesn’t have an inclinationto release the contents into theenvironment.”He’s hoping his reactors willbring power to the developingworld, streamline how grids distributepower and change theway people think about the safetyof nuclear energy.“To most people radiation seemslike this very mysterious, dangerous,invisible thing,” says Wilsoncrediting pop culture and TheSimpsons with the oft-negativeperception of it. “I grew up with ithaving collected radioactive stuffand put it in my garage since I wasnine or ten years old — I’m notcavalier when I handle it and radiationis not something that shouldbe trifled with but at the same timeDISCUSSING INNOVATIONTOP: Taylor talks Nuclear at the 2013TEDx convention in Long Beach, Ca.PHOTO: JAMES DUNCAN DAVIDSONBOTTOM: Taylor gives a tour of hislaboratory at the University of Nevadain Reno.PHOTO: MIKE WOLTERBEEKit’s not something that shouldbe unduly feared.”Looking aheadThe future Wilson sees is ripewith nuclear innovation — safe,clean energy production, more efficientcancer treatments and anuclear-adept society.“Hopefully my greatest contributionwill be sustainable andpowerful fusion energy, we’re aways away from that but I havesome ideas on how I’ll make itwork,” says Wilson. “Of course, ifI do solve the world’s energy problemsI’ll have to find an even biggerproblem to work on.”A passionate pursuitAlthough Taylor Wilson has a loton his plate at the moment — frombuilding safer reactors to, well,navigating the first years of college— the young nuclear physicisthopes to bolster his research incancer treatment.“It’s one of the things that isreally close to me,” says Wilson.“To solve the cancer problem youneed early detection, therapiesand cures.”Finding cancer sooner ratherthan later drastically improvesthe survival rate. “That’s what Idid with the medical isotope generation,”says Wilson. “It increasesthe ability of hospitals to do thingslike PET scans which are usuallylimited to major research centresand hospitals.”Recently, he’s been looking intodeveloping a radio-amino therapy,a process where the body targetsthe cancer cells which arethen killed with a short lived, shortrange alpha emitter — a radioactiveisotope that decays by emittingalpha particles. It’s a complicatedtechnique and still workingits way through the gears of Wilson’sbrains but it’s just one of thepotentially life-saving technologiesthe young nuclear physicistcould end up developing.“I’ve got some ideas on cancertherapy and cures,” says Wilson.“I think that’s where I’mgoing — maybe after I solve thewhole energy problem.”ANDREW SEALEeditorial@mediaplanet.comHow Canada is leading the wayin nuclear innovationAlong the banks of theOttawa River, 180 km to thenorthwest of our nation’scapital and its parliamentarysprawl sits Chalk RiverLaboratories.Operated by Atomic Energy of CanadaLimited — a federal-run Crowncorporation — the lab is Canada’slargest nuclear science and technologyresearch facility and since1944 it has been the beating heart ofnuclear innovation in Canada.“Ontario is the heartland ofthe nuclear sector,” says RonOberth, president of the Organizationof CANDU Industries— a trade association that advocateson behalf of Canada’snuclear sector.In a sense, Chalk River is a primecase study for the sheer amountof nuclear innovation being generatedin Canada as a whole. Thefirst nuclear power plant in thecountry went online near this sitein 1962. The lab supplies much ofthe world with the isotopes neededfor nuclear medicine. It’s alsoresponsible for advancementsin the aerospace industry andfuel cycle technology.“They provide information onnuclear that informs the regulationand licensing of nuclear power andwork that supports the safe operationof power plants,” says Oberth.“A lot of the innovations that haveallowed Canada to achieve successthrough its CANDU reactor technologywere developed initiallyat Chalk River.”Increased flexibilityCanada’s CANDU reactor is in itself akey accomplishment in nuclear innovation.One strength of this reactoris its fuel versatility, being capableof burning a myriad of fuel types,from natural uranium, to enricheduranium as well as thorium andrefuse plutonium.“The way it was designed makes itable to utilize a variety of different fueltypes better than other reactor technologies,”says Bill Kupferschmidt, VPof Research and Development at AECL,“that gives it a real niche opportunityin the world.”The online fueling (meaning fuel iscyclically replaced) and heavy watermoderated reactor is a prime tool forreusing the nuclear waste generatedby light water reactors like thoseoperated in many other countrieslike China. “Canada is veryproud and fortunate to havea very major bank of innovationat Chalk River in the Ottawavalley,” adds Oberth.Our nuclear landscapeBut the nuclear sector goes beyondthe confines of the Ottawa Valley.InCanada, the nuclear industry supportsaround 30,000 direct jobs rangingfrom uranium mining to scientificresearch. The industry producesmore than $6 billion in annualIN TOUCH WITH THE FUTUREOperating a shutdown safety systempanel in Candu’s EC6 Control CentreMock-up in Mississauga.PHOTO: CANDUrevenues, according to stats fromCanadian Manufacturers and Exportersand the Canadian EnergyResearch Institute.Even still, Kupferschmidt thinksmany Canadians would be surprisedabout the innovation happening intheir own backyards. “I think there is alack of understanding about the benefitsof nuclear on jobs, on livelihoodsand the benefits brought with respectto medical diagnosis and treatmentusing nuclear technologies,” he says.On the global stageNuclear innovation is also makingCanada a vital player on theglobal stage. In November, OCI and AE-CL will partake in trade missions bothsouth to the Power-Gen tradeshow inOrlando, Florida and over to India.“It’s our first ever trade mission toIndia — there hasn’t been any nuclearcooperation with the country since1974,” says Oberth.China is next on the agenda, saysOberth. The purposes of those trademissions are to form strategic partnershipsthat will help Canada both athome and abroad.“Every country likes to develop itsown domestic supply chain, Amer-icans aren’t looking to export jobs toCanada, they want to create qualitylong term jobs for their own peopleas we do in our own country,” saysOberth. “We’re just trying to findthose synergies where we can combineto be successful.”As nuclear becomes increasinglyglobal, Oberth anticipates Canadawill play a role in the next generationof reactor technology and nuclear research.And most of it will come fromthat lab tucked in the rolling hills ofthe Ottawa Valley.ANDREW SEALEeditorial@mediaplanet.com


A SPONSORED FEATURE BY MEDIAPLANET NOVEMBER 2013 · 5INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVEJeff BenjaminSenior Vice President,Nuclear Power Plants (NPP),Westinghouse ElectricCompanyM. MacitCobanogluVice President,Nuclear,AECONJoseph A. ZwetolitzPresident,Babcock &Wilcox NuclearEnergy, Inc.1What shouldCanadiansknow aboutadvancementsin nucleartechnology?Today’s plants have been redesigned to take40 years of operating history into account.Generation III+ plants with passive safetysystems are designed to use natural forceslike gravity and natural circulation to keep areactor cool after shutdown and safely copewith a Fukushima-type event. Modern plantsare also simplified and standardized, so oncethe first-of-a-kind is built, construction risksshould be modest. Capital and operating costsare also reduced compared to earlier generations.As a result, today’s nuclear power plantsare safer than ever and ready to provide clean,reliable electricity for many years to come.Nuclear technology benefits from billionsof dollars of worldwide R&D aimed atimproving safety, efficiency and reliabilityof the operating plants. Every major accidentincluding the latest one at Fukushimaresulted in significant safety improvementsto all operating reactors around the worldthrough upgrades and modifications. NuclearR&D also led to new reactor designsthat are passively safe. These so called GenerationIII reactors can continue to operatesafely without operator intervention for 4days following the severest of accident.Innovation continues to propel all aspectsof the nuclear energy industry forward.Advanced steam generators designedand manufactured here in Cambridge allownuclear plants to add 6,000 MW throughimproved efficiency and power uprates. Oursmall modular reactors (SMRs) offer a faster,more economical alternative to existingdesigns that are less expensive to produceand ship. They hold great promise to bringelectricity to remote areas that need reliablebase-load energy. These advancementsincrease the safety and reliability of nuclearenergy around the world.2What is theadvantage ofnuclear energyover alternativesources of energy?Nuclear energy is virtually greenhousegasemission free. By comparison, greenhousegas emissions from natural gas plantsare still 50 percent of that of coal plantswhich were deemed to pollute excessively.With natural gas, the cost of power is spentimporting the gas from outside the province,while with nuclear, the cost is spent onprocuring capital goods largely in Ontarioand on local employees to operate the plant.In comparison to renewables such as windor solar, which operate intermittently, nuclearenergy provides reliable baseload generationand also requires far less land.Nuclear generates baseline electricitywhich is one of the cheapest in terms of productioncosts. It is also sourced predominantlyfrom politically stable countries such as Canadaand Australia and produces no greenhousegases. The industry as a whole has a very strongsafety culture where operational experience isshared by nuclear utilities worldwide throughorganizations such as WANO and INPO. Mostother sources of energy are either significantcontributors to air pollution and global warmingsuch as fossil fuel based sources or havehigh production costs coupled with low generationefficiencies such as wind and solar.When you look at it’s potential, nuclearenergy provides long-term economic valuewhile producing electricity without CO2emissions. Uranium fuel prices continueto hold at a low price, and Canada’s vast reservesposition its nuclear fleet at an advantage.Saskatchewan alone is the second-largesturanium producing region in the world.B&W Canada’s unique nuclear manufacturingcapability means that the equipment fornew and existing plants can be manufacturedin Canada, as opposed to importinggas and wind turbine equipment.3Why is acontinued pursuitof innovationimportant toall aspects ofCanada’s nuclearindustry?We live in a global economy wherecompetition and opportunity are constantand everywhere. Those who will thrive inthis new world are those who will be ableto unlock the creativity of their greatest resource— their human capital — to innovateand continuously improve the way theydo business. Canada has a vibrant, tier-onenuclear industry, and to remain vibrant andavoid possible erosion of critical skills itmust maintain its commitment to new nuclearconstruction to meet its future needs.Innovation comes from investmentin R&D and leads to improvements in termsof safety and economics. One example is thePassive Autocatalytic Recombiner or PAR developedby AECL. By combining the hydrogengas produced in a reactor following a severeaccident with oxygen, the hydrogen can thenbe neutralized. It is hydrogen gas that canlead to explosions such as those experiencedat Fukushima. When we talk about Canada’snuclear industry, we also must include themedical isotopes that save lives. Canada’s nuclearinnovations in medical isotope technologyresulted from many years of federal R&Dfunding which should be acknowledged.In many ways, I am most excited by the potentialof SMRs. B&W has an outstanding designand unique experience as a precisionmanufacturer to build and ship them anywherein the world. Much of that design andmanufacturing excellence comes out of ourCambridge facility. I am proud of B&W’s commitmentto innovation, it has contributed tosome significant life extensions of Canada’sexisting nuclear fleet, thereby allowing thesesafe and economical assets to operate muchlonger than originally planned.4How will Canada’snuclear landscapechange in the next10–30 years?Canada has had a proud and successfulhistory in providing clean, safeand reliable nuclear power. There are currently70 new nuclear power reactors underconstruction worldwide and global supplychains are ramping up to serve new markets,many in countries with no nuclearinfrastructure. To participate in this market,and to maintain the domestic skill-base,it is important for Ontario to proceed nowwith new-build nuclear to replace the PickeringNuclear Plant that will close in 2020.I think the refurbishment of our currentfleet of CANDU reactors will continueover the next 10-30 years, and theywill continue to provide clean and reasonablypriced electricity to Canadians in Ontarioand New Brunswick. I believe therewill also be a new generation of passivelysafe reactors as well as SMRs built to replacethe aging current fleet. I think theCanadian nuclear industry will becomemuch more export oriented out of necessityand supply equipment and services tomany types of reactors around the world.Advancements in technology for existingplants are extending the life of Canada’s nuclearfleet to produce clean electricity safely andreliably for decades to come. With SMRs andother next-generation nuclear technologiesunderway, I think we’ll see a growing use andacceptance of nuclear energy as a carbon-freealternative. When you look at nuclear energy’sgrowth around the world alongside Canada’srich uranium resources, highly developedtechnical capabilities, and unique manufacturingfacilities, I see an extremely importantgrowth and leadership opportunity.Innovation:the key to regulating for the futureThe Canadian Nuclear SafetyCommission (CNSC) hasoverseen the nation’s nuclearpower base for over 40 years. Anagile and flexible organization, theCNSC is always ready to respond tothe changes and needs of the country’snuclear sector — withoutcompromising safety.An evolving focusThe CNSC is continually looking forways to improve how it regulatesthe nuclear industry in Canada. Itrecently implemented licence reformsfor major nuclear facilitiesto make sure that licensees clearlyunderstand their regulatory requirements.This improves regulatoryeffectiveness and efficiencyand reduces administrative efforts,without impacting nuclear safety.Through the Government of Canada’sResponsible Resource DevelopmentInitiative, the CNSC has alsoimplemented changes to regulatemore efficiently. By streamlining thetimeframe for major energy projectsand strengthening environmentalprotection, the CNSC enforces cleardeadlines for project reviews and decisions,and established AdministrativeMonetary Penalties for instancesof non-compliance.Ensuring the latest scientific findingsare reflected in its work, theCNSC constantly conducts new research,and collaborates with universitiesin Canada and abroad, as wellas international organizations. Supportedby its own state-of-the-artlaboratory, the CNSC can conduct independentanalysis and verify findingsto support both its research andcompliance activities.Vast expertiseLooking ahead, the CNSC is preparingfor major activities in the industrywhile staying on top of emergingtechnology. To ensure the safe refurbishmentof the Darlington nuclearpower plant, CNSC staff have a broadrange of expertise and the necessaryknowledge and skills to oversee thework. In support of a stronger isotopesupply, the CNSC is involved in licensinginnovative technology, suchas particle accelerators and cyclotrons,to ensure their safe operation.Recently, Canadian cyclotronswere used in novel research thatpromises to lead to a more plentiful,diversified supply of medical isotopes.The CNSC is monitoring closelythis type of work — which benefitsCanadians’ health while protectingthe environment for current and futuregenerations.NUCLEAR BY NIGHTChalk River Laboratories researchfacility located in Deep River, RenfrewCounty, Ontario.PHOTO: DEEPWATERAREABUSINESS.CALooking aheadThe CNSC’s pre-licensing vendor designreviews — an assessment of a nuclearpower plant design based on avendor’s reactor technology — are anexample of how the CNSC looks forward,both in meeting its safety mandateand preparing for potential nuclearproject applications. These optionalreviews allow the applicant tobetter understand the regulatory requirementsand to identify potentialdesign issues early. With talk of smallmodular reactors (SMR), the CNSC isDr. Michael BinderPRESIDENT AND CEO,CANADIAN NUCLEAR SAFETYCOMMISSIONwell situated to engage in design reviewsor licensing discussions withindustry proponents.In addition to our regulatory activities,the CNSC carries out variousinnovative outreach programs suchas CNSC Online, which uses interactivetechnology to educate and explainnuclear safety to the public;the Participant Funding Program,which provides funding for participationin the regulatory process;and CNSC 101, information sessionsdescribing how the CNSC regulates.The CNSC remains committed toits goal of continuous improvementin regulating the nuclear industry,and to its mandate of protectingthe health, safety and security ofCanadians and the environment.DR. MICHAEL BINDEReditorial@mediaplanet.com


6 · NOVEMBER 2013A SPONSORED FEATURE BY MEDIAPLANET

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines