Energy Alberta files Candu site application

28 August 2007

Energy Alberta has chosen Peace River as the potential site for its nuclear power plant and has filed an application for a site preparation licence with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

The application is for the siting of up to two of twin-unit plants, using AECL's ACR-1000 Advanced Candu reactors. Energy Alberta plans initially to build one 2200 MWe twin-unit plant, with a start-up target of 2017. "We are proud to be pioneers in bringing the benefits of clean, safe, reliable nuclear power to Alberta," said Energy Alberta President Wayne Henuset.

According to its press release, Energy Alberta chose the Peace River region as its preferred site because of "demonstrated" community support as well as the existence of infrastructure and support services and technical feasibility. The location 30 km west of the town of Peace River was chosen after "months" of community engagement. Residents of another possible site, at Whitecourt, recently retracted an earlier letter of support for Energy Alberta's plans and voted to hold a residents' poll if Energy Alberta chose their region.

Peace River's mayor, Lorne Mann, welcomed Energy Alberta to the community and described the announcement as paving the way to a "more vibrant, exciting and sustainable future" for the community. The reactor project will be subject to review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment act.

Power from the reactors would be used in oil sands extraction, which uses large volumes of steam to soften and recover oil from the gritty mixtures of bitumen. Canada has huge reserves of oil sands but recovery of the oil is energy intensive - natural gas can account for up to 60% of operating costs at current recovery facilities, not to mention the associated carbon emissions.

One large customer is expected to purchase the majority of the power from the nuclear plant, but Energy Alberta has not made any statements on that firms identity yet.

Further information


Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

WNA's Canada's uranium productionand nuclear power information paper

WNN: Canadianfirm seeks home for new plant

WNN: Newplants need people power

WNN: Not'if' but 'when' for nuclear oil sands