University of New Brunswick among several partners working with OPG, Moltex on clean energy solutions

Moltex Energy Stable Salt Reactor - Wasteburner (SSR-W)
Image: Moltex Energy

Ontario Power Generation’s Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability invests $1 million to assist Moltex, University of New Brunswick, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and New Brunswick Power in turning used CANDU fuel into next generation nuclear power.

APRIL 14, 2021 – Partners across the Canadian nuclear industry and academia, including UNENE-member, University of New Brunswick (UNB), have joined forces to advance innovation in recycling used nuclear fuel.

Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability (CCNS), which launched in 2020 with a focus on nuclear collaboration and research, will provide $1 million in funding to assist New Brunswick-based Moltex in demonstrating the technical viability of a new process to recycle used fuel from CANDU reactors.

Other project partners include UNB, which is providing research and testing capacity for the project. Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), through its Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative, is supporting the design, construction and optimization of the testing apparatus.

The project will contribute to the development of the Moltex WAste To Stable Salt (WATSS) technology, which could lead to a more sustainable form of nuclear power. The Moltex process involves the extraction of used nuclear fuel for preparation and use as new fuel in other advanced reactor designs, potentially reducing the volume of the material requiring long-term storage in a Deep Geological Repository.

New Brunswick Power (NB Power) is interested in progressing the development and potentially siting the first WATSS facility to power a 300 MW Stable Salt Reactor – Wasteburner (SSR-W) at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station site. OPG and NB Power’s nuclear sites in both provinces use CANDU reactor technology.

In March, UNB, NB Power and Moltex received an investment totalling $56 million from the Government of Canada to support small modular reactor (SMR) technology development in New Brunswick.

“Our goal is to advance solutions for nuclear materials, with a continued emphasis on minimizing our environmental footprint,” says Carla Carmichael, Vice President, Nuclear Decommissioning Strategy and Lead for OPG’s CCNS.

“We know nuclear power has a key role to play as we work to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed to supporting innovation and responsible solutions aimed at developing the next generation of clean nuclear power.”

Click here to read the full announcement from OPG.