Three advanced reactors moved forward in Canada's process for approving new nuclear plant designs last week, including the Westinghouse AP1000 and Candu EC6 designs under consideration for the Darlington site.On Wednesday, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission announced it completed the phase 2 pre-project review of the AP1000 and the phase 3 review of the EC6, determining that neither faces fundamental barriers to licensing. Both designs will be scrutinized further regarding specific issues identified earlier in the process. The regulator also announced completion of a positive phase 1 review for the Mitsubishi-Areva Atmea design. The stakes are high for Westinghouse and Candu, whose designs Ontario Power Generation shortlisted last year for two new reactors at its Darlington plant. The companies were invited to submit detailed construction plans and cost estimates for the new units. Friday was the deadline for that material, and Westinghouse made the case publicly for its design the night before.The Toronto Star reported that Westinghouse hosted a party for industry players where CEO Danny Roderick emphasized the AP1000's potential benefits to the Canadian economy. Specifically, he noted that 40 Canadian companies are already a part of the reactor's supply chain, and that Darlington contractors would be well-prepared to bid on AP1000 projects in other countries down the road.Candu issued a release after the design review announcement but was otherwise quiet as the Friday deadline arrived. The AP1000 is under construction in China and at two locations in the U.S. but represents a significantly different technology than is currently used at Darlington. All operating nuclear plants in Canada use Candu heavy water reactors, whereas the AP1000 is a pressurized light water reactor.
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It is time for the federal and provincial government to back an excellent Canadian product. The united states would never consider building a Canadian nuclear reactor, why should we?