China and Canada have signed an expanded memorandum of understanding on nuclear cooperation, while the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Candu Energy have agreed to cooperate on nuclear fuel development.
The expanded memorandum of understanding was signed in Beijing by Canadian
prime minister Stephen Harper and Chinese premier Li Keqiang.
According to the Canadian prime minister’s office, it “underscores” the two countries’ commitment to “broadening cooperation in a wide range of nuclear activities, including nuclear energy policy, research and development, and resource utilization for civilian purposes.” The agreement aims to facilitate the joint development of “new markets and alternative fuel cycles using CANDU technology and resources such as thorium.”
Harper and Li then witnessed the signature of the agreement between CNNC and Candu Energy, which according to CNNC will see the companies work together to build Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactor (AFCR) projects in China and develop global opportunities for the technology.
An expert panel hosted by the China Nuclear Energy Association had previously made a positive recommendation on the AFCR technology, praising the reactor’s safety characteristics and highlighting the role it could potentially play in a closed fuel cycle, reusing used fuel from light water reactors.
Candu Energy president and CEO Preston Swafford said the company looked forward to working with CNNC on AFCR technology.
“Taken together, the MOU, framework JV and positive recommendation by a Chinese expert panel represents a new level of cooperation between Canada and China in the next wave of nuclear energy innovation,” he said.