Nuclear, Reactors

Argentina’s nuclear bodies sign CANDU ACR-1000 reactor deal

24 September 2009 – Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) has signed an agreement with Nucleoelectrica Argentina S.A. (Nucleoelectrica) and Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica (CNEA) to extend a number of nuclear co-operation programs related to CANDU 6 and the development of the Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR-1000).

The agreement specifies a number of nuclear-related projects on which AECL, NASA and CNEA will collaborate.

These include developing a program for the life extension of the Embalse CANDU 6 reactor, which began operating in 1984.

The agreement is for a period of three years and extends an agreement originally signed in 2006 for a wide range of initiatives including the life extension of the Embalse, Argentina nuclear power plant and a feasibility study to build a new CANDU reactor.

“We are very pleased with the continued collaboration between AECL, NASA and CNEA, which will further enhance Argentina’s development of nuclear power for generating clean, safe, reliable and economic electricity,” said Nucleoelectrica President Eduardo Messi.

The agreement also outlines the framework for several programs and initiatives aimed at the advancement of pressurized heavy water reactor technology and supporting facilities, including new developments related to materials and fabrication of fuel channels components and CANDU fuel cycle design.

“This is a very positive development for AECL and Canada’s nuclear industry,” said AECL’s president and chief executive officer Hugh MacDiarmid.

“By enhancing nuclear co-operation between Canada and Argentina we are creating significant commercial opportunities for both countries, and enhancing the efficiency and competitiveness of CANDU technology at a time when the international market for nuclear is growing rapidly.”

The agreement was signed today by AECL’s president and chief executive officer Hugh MacDiarmid, CNEA president Norma Boero and Nucleoelectrica President Eduardo Messi at AECL’s corporate office in Mississauga.

Argentina’s nuclear power program is based on pressurized heavy water reactor technology. Argentina has significant heavy water reactor infrastructure including R&D facilities, heavy water production, fuel manufacture, and supply of certain plant components.

The agreement creates increased trade and commercial business opportunities in South America for Canada’s CANDU-based nuclear industry.