Annual Reports

Selected presentations, papers and flyers about UNENE

UNENE Benefits Report Executive Summary

The benefits of UNENE to its industry partners w.r.t. achieving the three objectives set when established back in 2002 are the establishment of research programs in key areas of importance to industry, the supply of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) to meet industry needs and the creation of a pool of scientific experts for consultation by industry and government when required. In the two fiscal years 2007 to Sept 2009, some of the notable benefits are:

  1. UNENE through its IRCs and research programs has succeeded in leveraging with NSERC/UNENE programs some additional funding of ~$43M from provincial and federal research and innovation agencies. These have enabled the establishment of new facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and thus increasing the scope of research and size of research teams.
  2. Ongoing research programs continue to advance knowledge in all areas of the technology, with some developed technologies successfully deployed by utilities in support of their safe and economic NPP operation:
    • A successful example is the application of risk-based methodologies to Life Cycle management (LCM) issues. These, when applied to feeder replacement have reduced the number of feeders requiring replacement by nearly 70 feeders, reducing the cost of such replacement by millions.
    • Advanced development of new safety analysis methodologies continue in the area of Best Estimate methodology, as well as advanced Thermal hydraulics in support of phenomena characterization, modeling and code validation. This in the future if adopted as a methodology will reduce some excessive conservatism applied in analysis methodologies.
    • Research on effects of manufacturing on PT properties, textures and creep characteristics, continue on current and future PT alloys.
    • Advanced Fuel research and increased knowledge are also noted in the report, with outcomes reflected in various code developments, assistance to utilities on fuel performance analyses and on-line fuel defect monitoring. All such results are readily transferred to industry via COG reports. Other research theses are ongoing on ACR fuel and the ability for actinide burning in multispectral CANDU cores etc. The outcomes of fuel cycle studies continue to be of interest to current and future Candu countries.
    • The IRC established in UWO has built an advanced Control and Instrumentation lab in 2009, with six projection monitors mimicking NPP human-machine interface with full connectivity to NPP control systems. The lab is used for application development /validation of numerous advanced diagnostic tools and control technologies aimed at reducing the number of safety system channels and common mode failures.
    • The IRC at Ontario Tech established on Sept 2008 is in the early phase of identifying dosimetry gaps and establishing research facilities to address them. Two gaps in 4 dosimetry devices have so far been identified, along with initiating development of two candidate devices aimed at ALARA improvements.
  3. Training and development of HQP through research and education continue to yield high caliber graduate students who upon successful completion of their theses have been recruited by industry partners and other institutions, such as universities and government. As of Sept 2009, the current complement of graduate student in the research program UNENE wide are reported to be over 130 graduate students, as shown in Figure 1 of the report. The number of MASc and PhD students that graduated during the same period amount to twenty six (26) MASc and twenty five (25) PhD graduates. Sixty percent (60%) of the Masters graduates were hired by industry partners, whereas thirty two percent (32%) of the PhD graduates were attracted by industry. AMEC-NSS was the most successful UNENE partner in hiring the new graduates, followed by AECL and Bruce Power.
  4. On the aspect of industry consultation, over 90 industry interactions /consultations and technical exchanges have been reported in the last two years by all UNENE universities. Most of these were on COG technical committees, industry technical panels and review teams, as well as with various federal and provincial departments and panels. Some of the notable ones are noted in Section 3 of the report.
  5. The UNENE education program has also experienced an increased enrollment in the last two years. There are currently 52 active students in the M.Eng program .The program is also gaining credibility as a means of competency building (for career advancement), and knowledge transfer and preservation to young industry professionals. Up to now, thirty seven (37) students have graduated from the M.Eng program out of 103 enrolled. Most of the students in the M.Eng program are from OPG. It is expected that the new Distance Learning tools, currently in use for course deliveries, will entice students from distant sites such as BP, the CNSC and CRL to enroll. New courses are being added to the program, along with more courses being offered on a quarterly basis. In summary this review confirms that such industry –university partnership has been a good strategic move and has served both parties well in so far as meeting all objectives set forth at the inception of UNENE. Research outcomes continue to advance knowledge in all facets of the technology and support continued safety and economic performance of NPPs in Canada. The supply of HQP has been key in addressing the demographic gaps experienced by industry in the last few years.