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New Brunswick deals with Areva

09 июля 2010
Industry news

The Canadian province of New Brunswick could host a ’clean energy park’ fitted with Areva’s nuclear and renewable power generating equipment.

A letter of intent was announced yesterday that could see such a park established alongside the existing Point Lepreau nuclear power plant. The signatories were the New Brunswick government, utility NB Power and Areva, which has similar plans for Piketon and Fresno in the US states of Ohio and California respectively.

The company said the park “would feature a mid-sized Generation III+ nuclear plant and renewable energy sources all built by Areva.” Its location alongside Point Lepreau on the North Atlantic would be expected to suit a new reactor, although its qualities for wind or solar generation were not outlined.

Generating 1650 MWe, Areva’s flagship EPR model is too big to be described as mid-sized. Instead Areva hinted towards its forthcoming Atmea and Kerena designs at 1100 MWe and 1250 MWe.

Atmea is a pressurized water reactor jointly development with Mitsubishi Heavy industries and announced in September 2007. At that time the companies said they hoped the design would be ready to being licensing processes within three years. Kerena, meanwhile, is a boiling water reactor formerly known as SWR-1000. It was developed by Areva’s German offices on the basis of the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant and input from German utilities.

The news will come as something of a blow to Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd, which has provided all the nuclear power plants that provide 15% of the country’s electricity, including NB Power’s Point Lepreau. At one time the site was discussed as the potential first unit of AECL’s advanced ACR-1000 design but this, along with many Canadian new build plans, has lapsed over the last two years. AECL’s future rests with its government owners that are likely to separate the company’s potentially profitable reactor business from national research work.

AECL is currently engaged in a lengthy refurbishment and life extension project at Point Lepreau which has been subject to significant delay and now not expected to be completed until after October this year.

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