The Atmea1 reactor design has been put to the Canadian regulator as a first step towards deployment in the country.
Areva announced the move late yesterday. It founded Atmea with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Atmea1 is to be the joint venture's first offering to commercial power companies. It is positioned as a 'mid sized' pressurized water reactor producing 1100 MWe. It features long operation cycles, short refuelling outages and the load-following ability to adjust power output by 5% per minute.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission did not comment on the submission of Atmea1 for pre-project design review. The province of New Brunswick has proposed a 'clean energy park' that would feature nuclear and renewable power generation. A letter of intent to this effect mentioning a possible mid-sized reactor was signed by provincial officials, Areva and utility NB Power in July last year.
Target markets for Atmea include countries preparing to use nuclear power for the first time. Areva told a December 2010 meeting with nuclear journalists that it is discussing possible deployment of Atmea1 in Jordan in conjunction with GDF-Suez.
Just yesterday France's Nuclear Policy Council reported to President Nicolas Sarkozy that Areva should be directed to concentrate on deploying Atmea1 with a potential first unit in France.
In February last year GDF-Suez proposed to build an Atmea1 unit at either Tricastin or Marcoule to operate from about 2020, while France's Nuclear Safety Authority is working on a review of the design's safety features.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News