02 NOVEMBER 2001
BRITISH ENERGY AND AECL SIGN AGREEMENT ON POTENTIAL NEW UK
NUCLEAR REACTOR PROGRAMME
British Energy and AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited) today signed an agreement on work to
assess the feasibility of CANDU technology as a potential nuclear power station option in the UK.
Dr Robin Jeffrey, British Energy's executive chairman, said: "Since we took over Bruce we have
gained a wealth of knowledge about these reactors. We are delighted with their performance, and the
fact that CANDUs have been successfully exported around the world shows that it is a hugely
successful design, and definitely has the potential to be similarly successful in the UK."
"In our submission to the Government's energy review we have set out nuclear's advantages in
offering security, diversity and environmental benefits to the UK and have made the case for
replacement programme for the country's existing nuclear capacity. We have also demonstrated how
we believe a new build of nuclear stations can be financed by the private sector."
"In our document we identify the two types of reactor that we believe would be suitable, the
Westinghouse designed AP1000 and the new generation CANDU."
"This work will provide us with details of licensing and regulatory issues that would face us if we were
to opt for a CANDU design, together with robust cost estimates for the ten new stations we propose,"
The agreement, which will run for a year, AECL, as a vendor and technical developer of CANDU
technology, and British Energy, as a prospective customer to:
- prepare a case including CANDU as an option for new plants in the UK.
- assess the technical suitability of CANDU reactors on existing sites
- prepare a business model addressing issues such as launch costs, economics, risk sharing and
- document key factors associated with CANDU implementation and recommend an implementation
The work will be undertaken in three phases. During phase one generic implementation issues will be
identified and either fully resolved or a strategy for their resolution developed.
"AECL is very pleased to be collaborating with British Energy with a view to the potential building of
CANDU New Generation reactors in the UK and Canada. We believe we have the right product for
the UK, and British Energy's and AECL's very complementary skills and strengths will work well to
replace current nuclear plants with new ones," said Robert Van Adel, president and CEO of AECL.
British Energy currently operates four CANDU units at its Bruce B station in Ontario, and has plans to
re-open two other units at the currently shut-down Bruce A site.
For information contact:
- Bob Fenton (British Energy) 01355 262846 / 07836 330713
- Louise Duhamel (AECL) +001 613 782 2024