An expert panel appointed by the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has concluded that Candu technology is the ideal nuclear reactor design to further China’s nuclear power program using thorium as an alternative nuclear fuel source and recommended that China consider building two new Candu units.
The panel confirmed that thorium use in Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL) Enhanced CANDU 6 reactor design is “technically practical and feasible,” and cited the design’s “enhanced safety and good economics” as reasons it could be deployed in China in the near term.
The panel’s recommendation supports China’s Third Qinshan Nuclear Power Company (TQNPC) in developing a formal proposal to CNNC and the Chinese government for a new CANDU project, as a part of China’s coming five-year plan period 2011-2015. The expert panel is composed of representatives from China’s leading nuclear academic, government, industry and R &D organizations and also noted the ability of CANDU pressurized heavy water reactors to reuse uranium recycled from light water reactor fuel.
The Qinshan Phase III nuclear power plant includes two 728 MWe CANDU 6 pressurized heavy water reactors designed by AECL and built in cooperation with TQNPC.