Fuel Cycles--A Key to Future CANDU Success
International Conference on the Future of Heavy Water Reactors - 2011 October 02-05

Presented at:
International Conference on the Future of Heavy Water Reactors
2011 October 02-05
Ottawa, Canada
Session Title:
Advanced Fuel Cycle

Sermet Kuran (CANDU Energy)
Jerry Hopwood (CANDU Energy)
Ian J. Hastings (CANDU Energy)


Globally, fuel cycles are being evaluated as ways of extending nuclear fuel resources, addressing security of supply and reducing back-end spent-fuel management. Current- technology thermal reactors and future fast reactors are the preferred platform for such fuel cycle applications and as an established thermal reactor with unique fuel-cycle capability, CANDU®* will play a key role in fulfilling such a vision.

The next step in the evolution of CANDU fuel cycles will be the introduction of Recovered Uranium (RU), derived from conventional reprocessing. A low-risk RU option applicable in the short term comprises a combination of RU and Depleted Uranium (DU), both former waste streams, giving a Natural Uranium Equivalent (NUE) fuel. This option has been demonstrated in China, and all test bundles have been removed from the Qinshan 1 reactor. Additionally, work is being done on an NUE full core, a Thorium demonstration irradiation and an Advanced Fuel CANDU ReactorTM (AFCRTM). AECL is developing other fuel options for CANDU, including actinide waste burning.

AECL has developed the Enhanced CANDU 6®* (EC6®*) reactor, upgraded from its best- performing CANDU 6 design. High neutron economy, on-power refueling and a simple fuel bundle provide the EC6 with the flexibility to accommodate a range of advanced fuels, in addition to its standard natural uranium.

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