CANDU Owners Group and the Nuclear Energy Agency to Collaborate on PHWRs: Corporate


01 October 2020

The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the CANDU Owners Group (COG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in research and activities related to Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR) ). The purpose of the MoU is to advance the scientific and technical knowledge base for PHWRs and to foster cooperation between research organizations that support PHWRs.

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, operator of three PHWR units at the Wolsong plant, is a member of COG (Image: KHNP)

The MoU describes the scope of a five-year agreement and provides a framework for collaboration between the NEA and the COG. In the new framework, the organizations will develop joint research activities and workshops and exchange views on a range of technical topics.

The PHWR has been developed since the 1950s in Canada under the name CANDU, and since the 1980s also in India. PHWRs generally use natural uranium oxide as fuel, and therefore need a more efficient moderator, in this case heavy water. The PHWR produces more energy per kilogram of uranium mined than other designs, but also produces a much larger amount of used fuel per unit of output. New designs from PHWR, such as the advanced Candu reactor, have slight water cooling and slightly enriched fuel. CANDU reactors can accept a variety of fuels. They can operate with recycled uranium from the reprocessing of spent fuel from light water reactors (LWRs), or a mixture of this uranium and depleted uranium from enrichment plants.

The NEA facilitates cooperation among countries with advanced nuclear technology infrastructures to seek excellence in nuclear safety, technology, science, related environmental and economic issues, and law. He noted that PHWRs, such as the Canadian-designed CANDU, are currently in service in four of its member countries: Argentina, Canada, South Korea and Romania. The NEA said it also had “active engagement and discussions” on nuclear reactor safety with other countries using PHWR technology, particularly China and India.

“The NEA has done a lot to bring countries together to conduct research in areas particularly related to nuclear safety. However, we haven’t done much in the area of ​​EPRs, as the vast majority of our members operate REOs, ”said the NEA Director. General William Magwood. “This MoU gives us an immediate boost as we try to become more aware, more active in this area, because we can join COG instead of recreating the wheel. This is a huge benefit to our people. member countries.”

COG is a private, not-for-profit corporation funded on a voluntary basis by CANDU operating utilities around the world, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and participating vendors.

Fred Dermarkar, outgoing COG CEO, said: “I see a great opportunity to work together on workshops where we exchange information and initiate joint projects to advance technology: things that benefit both members of the COG and the NEA. “

New COG President and CEO Stephanie Smith added, “Collaboration is really what is needed to move forward in many areas, so we look forward to working with the NEA.

Research and writing by World Nuclear News


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