The Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and its Center for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability (CCNS) have joined forces with Moltex Energy to expand clean energy solutions, and sustainability for nuclear energy, the companies announces this Tuesday.
Firstly, the intention of the partnership is to recycle used fuel from CANDU reactors. OPG has also agreed to provide $1 million in funding to Moltex Energy to research and demonstrate the technical viability of a new recycling process for used CANDU fuel.
Secondly, this fuel, when removed from a reactor, it still has energy. Moltex’ process would extract the remaining energy source and prepare it for new use. Indeed, this new fuel would serve in advanced reactors; potentially reducing the volume of the material requiring long-term storage in a Deep Geological Repository.
Thirdly, this new process would further contribute with the development of a process by Moltex called Waste To Stable Salt (WATSS); which could add to the sustainability of the nuclear energy industry.
Moreover, in this task, Moltex is not alone. In fact, OPG’s CCNS was launched in 2020 precisely with a focus on advancing nuclear innovation, collaboration and research to seek solutions for minimizing nuclear materials and recycle clean materials.
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Moltex Energy, leading the way in recycling nuclear fuels
On the other hand, the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), through its Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative is supporting the Moltex Energy partnership with the design, construction and optimization of the testing apparatus.
Moreover, once ready, the company NB Power will build the first WATSS facility in Saint John, New Brunswick. This facility will leverage from the used fuel in the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station; which would power from its used fuel around 300 megawatts.
In addition, the project also will receive substantial federal funding. “Our goal is to advance solutions for nuclear materials, with also a continued emphasis on minimizing our environmental footprint”. Said Carla Carmichael, Vice President, Nuclear Decommissioning Strategy and Lead for OPG’s CCNS.
Finally, Rory O’Sullivan, Moltex Energy CEO, said. “We are working to develop a technology that uses the fuel from the first generation of nuclear power in Canada. This reduces the challenges associated with spent nuclear fuel, while expanding nuclear power to help Canada achieve its climate change objectives.”