Subject: Organic Cooled Reactors (OCR)
Thanks to Morgan Brown for providing links to the history of the Whiteshell OCR. The CNS Fact Sheet shows the designer of the buildings as Shawinigan Engineering, but they also engineered two of the four test loops WL3 and WL4. This was a Canadian initiative to provide opportunities for consulting engineers to do some nuclear engineering. In mid 1966, I was imported from the UK nuclear industry by Shawinigan and one of my first tasks was to prepare a safety report for the WL3 and 4 loops loops. One concern, new to my CO2 coolant background, was the inflammability of the organic coolant if there was a pipe leak. I spent a week at Whiteshell presenting my safety report to AECL. This was in February 1967 when the winter was a shock to my UK system, but relieved by the hospitality of Pinawa residents.
Then in 1972, AECL had Canatom ( then co-owned by Shawingan), prepare a cost estimate for the civil works and Balance of Plant for a CANDU OCR power station, including a more efficient 500 MW turbine generator. This was in parallel with the project estimates for a CANDU 6 being studied for the Gentilly site. The OCR estimates were quite competitive, but about a year later, I was told that AECL Corporate Management had decided that the cost of building two different prototype reactors at the same time would not be supported.
Neil G. Craik
phone (506) 454 0274