AtkinsRéalis developing 1,000-MW CANDU reactor
December 8, 2023
AtkinsRéalis, formerly SNC-Lavalin, introduced the Canada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) Monark reactor at the recent World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris, France. Currently in the definition phase of development, the reactor’s module-based design promises the highest output of any CANDU technology, at 1,000 MW.
As the Canadian consulting engineering firm’s most advanced reactor to date, the Monark is being developed to help meet utility and government demand around the world for electrification, grid decarbonization, net-zero emissions, energy security and stable and weather-independent baseload power. It will run on natural uranium or, with minimal adjustments, recycled uranium, thorium and mixed oxide fuels, with the capacity to be refuelled during operations.
Relying on commercially proven CANDU heavy-water technology and featuring robotics, digital twin interoperability and predictive maintenance, the Monark is expected to offer an operating life of 70 years. Its design can integrate a hydrogen production plant and storage facility into a nuclear station and then use surplus heat from the plant to make hydrogen generation more efficient.
“These modern, large-scale reactors will play a critical role in producing the quantum of additional electricity supply that’s required for millions of people,” says AtkinsRéalis president and CEO Ian L. Edwards.
“CANDU reactors are synonymous with Canada,” says Mary Ng, federal minister of export promotion, international trade and economic development. “The new Monark design will ensure CANDU technology remains front and centre amid growing interest in nuclear energy around the world as part of the clean energy transition.”
Like other CANDU reactors, Monark will also produce medical-grade isotopes to sterilize medical equipment and for cancer research.