UK And Canada Sign MOU For Advancing Nuclear Cooperation

The Natural Resources Canada, known as NRCan, and the British Department for Energy and Climage Change (DECC) have signed a memorandum of understanding that allows for greater cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.

Candu LogoThe deal will build on the partnership between Candu Energy Inc. and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada, allowing further development of plutonium and uranium stockpiles in CANDU heavy water reactors, according to a statement.

The biggest winner in the deal is, apparently, Canada, based on the opportunities it will provide for Canadian companies. Britain is dealing with an aging nuclear power plant fleet that currently supplies the country with 18 percent of its electricity. However, all but one of the country’s nuclear power plants are expected to close by 2023.

Britain, meanwhile, has signaled that it expects to build 12 nuclear reactors by 2030 – at least enough to generate 16,000MW.

"The MOU will provide benefits to a wide array of stakeholders in the nuclear energy industry in both Canada and the UK, including small- and medium-sized enterprises, by facilitating stronger industry-to-industry connections and encouraging collaborative work between laboratories and university research networks," said NRCan in a statement.

"The MOU will reinforce work already under way on feasibility studies related to the disposal of UK plutonium, and it will provide a framework to assess the development of power generation based on alternative nuclear fuels,” the statement said.

Candu Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Preston Swafford said the MOU "galvanizes joint R&D, regulatory cooperation, technology transfer and investment into the UK nuclear sector and has the potential to unlock a powerful energy source for UK electricity consumers."

As the deal was being signed, in Peterborough, Ontario, Candu Energy, on the same day, was presenting a proposal in London to have its CANMOX process put to use in Britain. CANMOX is a process “in which plutonium and depleted uranium powder feedstocks are combined into fuel pellets to produce that delivers a safe, proliferation-resistant disposal package,” the definition taken from an article written by Ala Alizadeh, senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Candu Energy Inc.

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