Initial OK for Atmea1 in Canada

09 July 2013

Atmea1 laid bare (Image: Atmea)

The Areva-Mitsubishi joint venture reactor design Atmea1 has passed the first stage of regulatory approval for use in Canada.

"Overall, the Atmea1 design intent meets the most recent Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) regulatory design requirements and expectations for a new nuclear power plant in Canada," said a statement from Areva and Mitsubishi, the 50-50 joint venture partners behind the design.

The CNSC spent several months on a 'pre-licensing assessment of compliance' for the reactor design, reaching a positive conclusion. French regulators reached a similar early stage of approval in February 2012, and the design is also under consideration for build in Argentina, Jordan and Turkey.

Atmea1 is the first reactor model to come from the Atmea joint venture. It is a 1100 MWe pressurized water reactor designed for long operating cycles and more flexilibity in terms of load following capability and deployment in medium-sized electricity grids.

Canada uses nuclear power for 15% of its electricity and in recent years saw plans emerge for new units in Alberta, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan provinces, although these are not currently progressing. Nevertheless, mothballed nuclear reactors were brought back into operation in Ontario to boost nuclear power to 60% of electricity supply in that region. Provincial utility Ontario Power Generation is developing plans for up to four new reactors at Darlington, considering the Westinghouse AP1000 and Enhanced Candu 6 designs.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News