Future of Neutron Scattering in Canada

Canada has reached a historic moment. For more than half a century, neutron beam research has been a demonstrated scientific strength of Canada. From the Nobel Prize winning work of Dr. Brockhouse in 1950s to the present day, the National Research Universal (NRU) research reactor at Chalk River Laboratory has enabled Canadian researchers to be leaders in neutron beam sciences. Canadian academics and researchers at government laboratories have used neutron beams at NRU to perform cutting-edge fundamental research in many areas such as health, energy, environment and nanotechnology. Canadian industries have performed industrial proprietary research, generating unique knowledge required to remain competitive in a global marketplace. NRU has made it possible to train and retain highly qualified personnel in Canada in the application of neutron scattering beam instruments and methods to a full range of advanced materials research.

The NRU reactor was shutdown on May 15, 2009 until August 17, 2010 to repair a heavy water leak in the reactor vessel. The extended shutdown and the costs required to maintaining the 53-year-old NRU reactor, regardless of the success of the repairs, have significantly raised the concerns of Canadian academic institutions and industries about present and future access to neutron beam resources. It is clear that only with a new domestic neutron source, replacing the aging NRU reactor, can a strong Canadian neutron-scattering community be maintained and fostered in the future. A new domestic neutron source will rejuvenate neutron scattering in Canada, ensuring that Canada can continue its leadership role in current scientific areas that benefit from neutron-scattering knowledge but also will be at the forefront of new and emerging fields of science and technology in the future.

Considering that it takes eight to ten years to design, build and license a new facility, it is abundantly clear that a decision for building a new neutron source in Canada is urgent to minimize the damage to neutron scattering in Canada. This blog was formed as a grassroots, non-partisan movement with the following goals:

1. Raise awareness about neutron scattering as a versatile and irreplaceable probe that provides crucial information of key importance in materials research.

2. Provide a venue for discussions and brainstorming sessions about what we, as ordinary citizens, can do to ensure that future generations of Canadians will also have access to a domestic neutron source.

3. Provide a means of communication among all who are interested in securing a new domestic neutron source in Canada to help organize efforts.

You could also find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/108654419174440/ please join!

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Friday, 6 December 2013

B&W, Cavendish, Battelle team up in bid to manage AECL labs

The joining forces: B&W, Cavendish, Battelle team up in bid to manage AECL labs: http://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsbw-cavendish-battelle-team-up-to-manage-aecl-labs "The Babcock & Wilcox Company has partnered with UK-based Cavendish Nuclear Ltd. and US-based research and development organization Battelle in pursuit of a contract for managing Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd's Nuclear Laboratories.
The Canadian government announced in February that it would launch a competitive process for the management of the nuclear labs, principally the Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario, and the Whiteshell Laboratories in Manitoba.
It is seeking to implement a government-owned, contractor-operated (GoCo) model, as is used in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The international consortium of B&W, Cavendish and Battelle offers valuable experience from work in North American and the United Kingdom, according to George Dudich, President, B&W Technical Services Group.
In addition to its work in Canada, B&W supports the US Department of Energy in areas such as national laboratory management, nuclear operations, infrastructure modernization, and environmental restoration and management.
Cavendish Nuclear is the largest nuclear site management, engineering and support services contractor in the UK, with nuclear site licensee experience at Harwell, Winfrith and Dounreay in England and Scotland.
Battelle, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is an international science and technology enterprise with a management role at seven national laboratories.
AECL's Nuclear Laboratories are responsible for nuclear science and technology priorities for safety, security, health, the environment, waste management and clean energy technologies, as well as the production of medical isotopes.
"Canada's Nuclear Laboratories are held in high regard by the international community, and have a rich history in the development of the nuclear industry. We're eager to partner with this team to provide a confident and secure future for Chalk River," said Dr. Ron Townsend, Executive Vice President of Global Laboratory Operations for Battelle."

Directly from the horse's mouth: http://www.babcock.com/news-room/Pages/BW-Announces-Innovation-Partners-in-Pursuit-of-Atomic-Energy-of-Canada-Ltd.%E2%80%99s-Nuclear-Laboratories.aspx

Employees at Ontario nuclear facility vote to join USW union

Employees at Ontario nuclear facility vote to join USW union: http://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/general/employees-at-ontario-nuclear-facility-vote-to-join-usw-union-125918 “Our first priorities will be pending negotiations and how AECL employees will be affected by future changes in the operations.”

Floating SMR: Russia’s answer to flexible low maintenance nuclear power?

Floating SMR: Russia’s answer to flexible low maintenance nuclear power? "While the US remains the most promising market for SMR development and installation, Russia is making waves with its barge-based technology. It might just be the added-value proposition of low maintenance and no decommissioning that is the clincher. This article has been updated. Russia is quite literally pushing the boat out with small modular reactor (SMR) technology. Earlier this year, World Nuclear News reported on how Rosenergoatom, Russia’s state-owned manufacturer, had put two reactors onto a barge in Saint Petersburg after four years of testing. The barge-based plant is intended to set sail for northeast Russia’s Chukotka Peninsula, in the East Siberian Sea, to serve mining interests close to the Arctic, according to reports. But Russia, which is working on a number of SMR variants, clearly expects to be able to commercialise its floating designs abroad, too. “The Russian business model, as I understand it, is that they will simply tow in a 40MWe unit, connect it to your drop line, and provide you with power for up to three years,” says Jay Harris, an SMR consultant based in Canada. “They will either charge you a flat rate to provide the capacity and availability for the power, or use a per-kilowatt-hour fixed price model. When the unit requires service or refuelling, they tow in a new unit and disconnect the old one.” Old reactors will return to a centralised service yard in Russia, he adds, so as well as having no upfront cost the electricity customer does not have to deal with spent fuel issues or even outages." http://analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.com/small-modular-reactors/floating-smr-russia’s-answer-flexible-low-maintenance-nuclear-power#sthash.znkUKIod.dpuf

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Attack on science shows need for new parliamentary watchdog

I'd say also a science advisor or council is also a must!

Ontario energy plan

"The government of Ontario has kept nuclear at the centre of its updated long-ter...m energy program, with major refurbishments planned for the Bruce and Darlington power stations. However, it has decided to defer the construction of new nuclear capacity." http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Ontario-relies-on-current-nuclear-capacity-0312137.html

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Supply of medical isotopes has dangerously decayed

And they want to stop producing medical isotoes at NRU by 2016??? Supply of medical isotopes has dangerously decayed: http://theconversation.com/supply-of-medical-isotopes-has-dangerously-decayed-20004 "The NRU reactor at Chalk River Laboratories, which produces approximately 40% of the world’s medical molybdenum supplies, will close in 2016. OSIRIS, BR-2 and HFR are also due to close within the next five years. Two reactors planned as replacements for NRU, Maple-1 and 2, were cancelled in 2008."

See also http://www.auntminnieeurope.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=mol&pag=dis&ItemID=609003&wf=1

And: http://nuclearstreet.com/pro_nuclear_power_blogs/b/science-history-nuclear/archive/2013/11/21/nuclear-medicine-radiopharmaceuticals-and-chalk-river-labs.aspx


The face of AECL's future?

The face of AECL's future? http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/2013/11/21/the-face-of-aecls-future "The company hoping to operate Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's Chalk River Laboratories strengthened their bid Tuesday as they entered into a partnership with two world-leading nuclear and research and development firms.
The Babcock and Wilcox Company, which is seeking to take over management of Chalk River under a government-owned, contractor operated model (Go-Co), announced they will be forming a consortium with Cavendish Nuclear, a major player in Britain's nuclear industry, and Battelle Memorial Institute, a U.S.-based nonprofit research and development organization.
Delivering the announcement during a reception at the Petawawa Golf Club, Ken Camplin, Babcock and Wilcox vice-president of corporate development, lauded both firms for bringing to the table a vast array of experience and an incredible track record of innovation.
Since Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver announced in February that the federal government would engage in a competitive procurement process to contract out the management of AECL assets to the private sector, Camplin said his company has been developing a venture that had a shared vision and commitment for Chalk River Laboratories.
To that end, the firm has been proactive opening offices in Deep River as it pursues the Go-Co model for Chalk River. Camplin added he feels AECL president Dr. Bob Walker has been on the right track with a transformation that should see a cost-effective, world-class research and technology organization focused on serving the nuclear industry.
“We really believe the keys to the kingdom rest in executing science and technology with excellence and equally important growing the science and technology and the research and development portfolio in a deliberate and sustained fashion,” said Camplin. “We want to be the best possible agents and facilitators for Chalk River to really obtain all those things.”
Based in Lynchburg, Virginia, Babcock and Wilcox Company provides design, engineering, construction and facilities management services to nuclear, fossil power, industrial and government customers worldwide. Its Canadian offices are located in Cambridge, Ontario and currently provides operations to four national laboratories.
Cavendish Nuclear operates three nuclear sites in the U.K. that the company states are similar to Chalk River. Its expertise rests in the design and build of waste treatment facilities. The firm also looks after the British-made Victoria class submarines that had been sold to Canada.
“We're quite pleased to team up with world-class lab operators and a world-class consortium to address Chalk River,” said Andrew Wettern, business development director for Cavendish.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, the Battelle Memorial Institute is an international science and technology enterprise that explores emerging areas of science, develops and commercializes technology, and manages laboratories for its clients. It currently manages seven national laboratories in the U.S. Ron Townsend, executive vice-president of global laboratory operations, said Chalk River has a rich history in the development of the nuclear industry.
“Chalk River is held in high regard by the scientific collaborators that work for it but the future is not certain,” said Townsend.
He added Chalk River and the surrounding community has all the elements for a successful way forward.
“We have an aspiration that Chalk River will become Chalk River National Laboratory,” said Townsend. “The most important thing that we can do is to stabilize Chalk River National Laboratory and provide a confident, secure future for that laboratory because it is so important to this community and the nation of Canada.”"

20-Year Partnership Converts 20,000 Russian Nuclear Warheads into Fuel for U.S. Electricity

20-Year Partnership Converts 20,000 Russian Nuclear Warheads into Fuel for U.S. Electricity: http://www.ladailypost.com/content/20-year-partnership-converts-20000-russian-nuclear-warheads-fuel-us-electricity#!

Unplanned interruption to the Canadian supply of the medical isotope molybdenum-99

AECL reports an unplanned interruption to the Canadian supply of the medical isotope molybdenum-99: http://www.aecl.ca/en/home/news-and-publications/bulletins/2013/131119.aspx