Canadian nuclear leaders to collaborate on CANDU decommissioning

May 14, 2021, 9:29AMRadwaste Solutions
Canada’s pickering nuclear power plant. (photo: opg)

A collaboration agreement signed by Ontario Power Generation’s Center for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, and SNC-Lavalin will build on Ontario’s extensive nuclear industry expertise and skilled workforce to support the decommissioning of CANDU reactors in Canada and around the world, according to a May 13 press release from the organizations. The work will include the decommissioning of OPG’s Pickering nuclear power plant following the end of commercial operations in 2025.

In addition to exploring the potential for international decommissioning opportunities, the collaboration is intended to drive best practices and innovation for delivering decommissioning projects in a safe, timely, and cost-effective manner. The organizations will also work to identify future workforce skill gaps and develop plans to fill any such gaps.

There are more than 30 Canadian-designed CANDU reactors around the world, including in Argentina, Romania, China, India, Pakistan, and South Korea.

Pickering: Located near Toronto on the north shore of Lake Ontario, Pickering houses six operating CANDU reactors with a total capacity of 3,094 MWe. Under OPG’s proposed plan, Pickering Units 1 and 4 will be shut down in 2024, followed by Units 5 to 8 in 2025. Units 2 and 3 were shut down in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

According to OPG, the decommissioning of Pickering will be supported by SNC-Lavalin subsidiary Candu Energy, which has decommissioning experience in the United States and Canada. OPG said it will also leverage Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ expertise in decommissioning, packaging and storage, and environmental protection to safely dismantle and repurpose the Pickering site.

They said it: “As the owner of the largest reactor fleet in Canada, OPG will play a leading role in providing sustainable solutions for decommissioning to benefit the environment, economy, community, and industry,” said Carla Carmichael, vice president of OPG’s decommissioning strategy and lead for the company’s recently opened Center for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability. “The solutions we develop through this group will be applied not only in Pickering, post-commercial operations, but have the potential to be used internationally and create jobs and opportunities for Canada’s nuclear industry at home and abroad.”

Kristan Schruder, deputy vice president and general manager of environmental remediation management for Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, said, “For decades, CNL has served as a trusted partner to Canada’s nuclear utilities in the delivery of pioneering research in clean energy. We are excited to expand and grow our relationship through this agreement, working hand in hand with OPG and SNC-Lavalin to explore opportunities for improvements in decommissioning, nuclear safety, and environmental stewardship.”

Carl Marcotte, SNC-Lavalin’s senior vice president of nuclear marketing and business development, said, “SNC-Lavalin brings experience, products, technologies, industry relationships, and an impressive portfolio of ongoing nuclear decommissioning and environmental management projects to the partnership, including global expertise to support the growth of Canada’s decommissioning industry. As the original equipment manufacturer of CANDU technology, we have the necessary skills, expertise, and reach to deliver excellent results for our clients across Canada and around the world.”

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