Bruce Power, Areva NP join for isotope production

09 August 2017

Bruce Power and Areva NP will further explore opportunities to commercialise radioisotope production capabilities at the Bruce nuclear power plant in Ontario following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) yesterday. Under the agreement, Areva NP is to supply equipment to allow online production of isotopes at the Canadian plant.


Bruce-Areva isotope agreement - August 2017 - 460 (Bruce)
The MOU was signed by Bruce Power CEO and president Mike Rencheck and William Cooper, president of Areva NP's installed base business unit in Canada (Image: Bruce Power)


The MOU builds on an agreement signed by the two companies in December 2014 to evaluate the feasibility of developing online radioisotope production capabilities at the Bruce plant.

Under the latest agreement Areva NP will design and supply the hardware to be installed in the existing Bruce Candu units to add online isotope production.

Developing online radioisotope production capabilities at Bruce will allow the plant to produce shorter half-life isotopes - such as molybdenum-99, lutetium-177 and iridium-192 - with a system that inserts and removes targets with little impact on the normal operation of the reactors. The process will use Areva NP's patent-pending method of producing radioisotopes using a heavy water nuclear power plant.

The Bruce power plant comprises eight Candu reactors at two generating stations - units 1-4 at Bruce A and units 5-8 at Bruce B - which between them have a generating capacity of up to 6400 MWe. The plant is a key part of the province of Ontario's long-term energy plan, and is undergoing a major refurbishment program that will give six of its eight units an additional 30-35 years of operating life. Units 1 and 2 at Bruce A have already been refurbished.

"Adding online radioisotope production capability will enable Bruce Power to provide a long-term, reliable platform to produce a wide range of radioisotopes for use in both health care and industry in Ontario, across Canada, and potentially North America and abroad," Bruce Power and Areva NP said in a joint statement.

James Scongack, Bruce Power's vice president of corporate affairs and environment, said: "Our partnership with Areva NP demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the people of Ontario and beyond, as we look for innovative ways to expand our important contributions to global health care."

Areva has provided outage, engineering, maintenance and staffing services to Bruce Power and other Canadian nuclear facilities for a number of years. In January, Bruce Power and Areva NP signed an MOU valued at up to $55 million for a high-voltage maintenance program. Under that agreement, Areva NP is to provide services for transformers and other high-voltage components to Bruce Power.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News