Canada, Argentina and China to cooperate on Candu projects

05 September 2007

Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Nucleoelectrica Argentina SA and China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) to conduct a joint study for cooperation.


The study will look at potential cooperation in the design, manufacture, construction and operation of Candu nuclear power reactors on future projects in Argentina, Canada and China.


A signing ceremony held in China was attended by Ken Petrunik, AECL's chief operating officer; Daniel Cameron, Argentina's secretary of energy; and Kang Rixin, president of CNNC.


In addition, CNNC and Nucleoelectrica have agreed to strengthen cooperation in sharing and exchanging their Candu 6 reactor operational and maintenance experience.


Speaking at the signing ceremony, Petrunik said: "We are happy to see enhanced international cooperation with great partners such as [Nucleoelectrica] and CNNC to jointly promote the further deployment and development of this efficient technology to meet increasing international demands and sustainable development of nuclear power."


AECL announced on 27 July that it had signed an agreement with Nucleoelectrica to enter into commercial negotiations to define the contracts and project delivery model for a new 740 MWe Candu 6 plant. The results of the negotiations will go to the Argentinean government for final review and approval by the end of April 2008. The decision to proceed with negotiations for a new Candu power plant is based on the results of a joint feasibility study completed in April 2007. The agreement also includes the potential for a second unit.


Argentina currently has two nuclear power reactors (Atucha 1 and Embalse), both pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs), generating nearly one-tenth of its electricity. In May 2006, AECL signed an agreement with Nucleoelectrica covering the refurbishment of the Embalse Candu 6 reactor, which was connected to the grid in 1983, and a feasibility study for another 700 MWe Candu 6 unit entering operation around 2015 in Argentina. The agreement also called for AECL to assist Nucleoelectrica to finish construction of the Atucha 2 reactor, which is currently some 80% complete.


China has two Candu reactors in operation at its Qinshan phase three plant.


Further information




WNA's Canada's Uranium Production & Nuclear Power information paper
 Nuclear Power in Argentina information paper
 Nuclear Power in China information paper

WNN: AECL works on Argentine Candu contract