Montreal, Canada

Atomic Energy of Canada

www.cnl.ca/
Montreal, Canada

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited is a Canadian federal Crown corporation and Canada's largest nuclear science and technology laboratory. AECL developed the CANDU reactor technology starting in the 1950s, and in October 2011 licensed this technology to Candu Energy .Today AECL develops peaceful and innovative applications from nuclear technology through expertise in physics, metallurgy, chemistry, biology and engineering. AECL's activities range from research and development, design and engineering to specialized technology development, waste management and decommissioning. AECL partners with Canadian universities, other Canadian government and private-sector R&D agencies , various national laboratories outside Canada, and international agencies such as the IAEA.AECL describes its goal as ensuring that "Canadians and the world receive energy, health, environmental and economic benefits from nuclear science and technology - with confidence that nuclear safety and security are assured".Until October 2011 AECL was also the vendor of CANDU technology, which it had exported worldwide. Throughout the 1960s-2000s AECL marketed and built CANDU facilities in India, South Korea, Argentina, Romania, and the People's Republic of China. It is a member of the World Nuclear Association trade group.In addition, AECL manufactures nuclear medicine radioisotopes for supply to MDS Nordion in Ottawa, Ontario, and is the world's largest supplier of Molybdenum-99 for diagnostic tests, and Cobalt-60 for cancer therapy.AECL is funded through a combination of federal government appropriations and commercial revenue. In 2009, AECL received $651 million in federal support.In October 2011 the federal government of Canada sold the commercial CANDU design and marketing business of AECL to Candu Energy for $15 million . The sale entered the exclusive negotiation stage in February, a month after the other bidder, Bruce Power pulled out). Poor sales and cost overruns were reasons for the divestment though SNC-Lavalin expects to reverse that trend by focusing on new generation reactors. SNC-Lavalin Nuclear Inc, SNC's nuclear subsidiary is already part of Team CANDU, a group of five companies that manufacture and refurbish the CANDU reactors. The government will continue to own the Chalk River Laboratories . The transaction puts 800 jobs at risk while improving job security for 1,200 employees. Due to safety concerns many countries are considering thorium nuclear reactors which AECL's CANDU reactors easily convert into . Higher energy yields using thorium as the fuel also makes it more attractive. OMERS has also shown interest in the company. Wikipedia.


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Patent
Atomic Energy of Canada | Date: 2016-09-07

The present invention provides an apparatus for detecting and/or repositioning annulus spacers used to maintain the position of a pressure tube within a calandria tube of a nuclear reactor. The method comprises the steps of: vibrationally isolating a section of the pressure tube; vibrating the wall of said pressure tube within said isolated section; detecting vibration of the wall at a minimum of two axial positions within said isolated sections; and detecting the reduction in vibration level of the wall at one or more of said axial positions in comparison to the remaining axial positions. The apparatus comprises a tool head to be inserted into the pressure tube, the tool head comprising a first end and a second and a clamping block m each of said ends. The clamping blocks are used to vibrationally isolate a section of the pressure tube located between said ends. The apparatus also comprises piezo-actuators operable to vibrate said pressure tube; and accelerometers used for measuring vibration of said pressure tube.


Patent
Atomic Energy of Canada | Date: 2014-03-28

The invention relates to isotope separation methods, and methods for separating isotopes with low energy consumption, demonstrated using hydrogen isotopes. To this end, an isotope transfer electrochemical cell is provided, which comprises an anode plate and a cathode plate; current carrier plates with flow channels or mesh layers or porous material; a proton exchange membrane or solid polymer electrolyte membrane; and gas diffusion layers positioned on either side of the proton exchange membrane which together with the proton exchange membrane forms a membrane electrode assembly; and a housing containing the anode and cathode plates in operable arrangement with the membrane electrode assembly, and defining a hydrogen feed inlet on the anode, a product outlet on the cathode, an outlet for excess hydrogen on the anode, and internal flow paths for transfer of gases and fluids on either side of the membrane electrode assembly. Also described are methods for enriching or depleting the isotope present in the hydrogen gas/vapour feed e.g. for tritium removal, tritium enrichment and deuterium enrichment, by arranging a series of cells in a cascaded configuration.


Patent
Atomic Energy of Canada | Date: 2014-03-28

To avoid the detrimental effects of bubbles in the carrying out of immersion ultrasonic testing, various surfaces may be coated with a coating that includes appropriately selected compounds. Such compounds may include those compounds that cause higher local surface tension and those compounds that are hydrophilic. Furthermore, various surfaces involved in the testing may be coated in a manner that minimizes cavities and crevices to which air bubbles can adhere.


Patent
Atomic Energy of Canada | Date: 2015-08-14

The present invention provides an apparatus for detecting and/or repositioning annulus spacers used to maintain the position of a pressure tube within a calandria tube of a nuclear reactor. The method comprises the steps of: vibrationally isolating a section of the pressure tube; vibrating the wall of said pressure tube within said isolated section; detecting vibration of the wall at a minimum of two axial positions within said isolated sections; and detecting the reduction in vibration level of the wall at one or more of said axial positions in comparison to the remaining axial positions. The apparatus comprises a tool head to be inserted into the pressure tube, the tool head comprising a first end and a second and a clamping block m each of said ends. The clamping blocks are used to vibrationally isolate a section of the pressure tube located between said ends. The apparatus also comprises piezo-actuators operable to vibrate said pressure tube; and accelerometers used for measuring vibration of said pressure tube.


A method for preparing alpha sources of polonium. A sample of polonium is provided in a solution. A controlled amount of sulfide and a controlled amount of a metal capable of forming an insoluble sulfide salt in the solution are introduced into the solution, in order to co-precipitate polonium from the solution. The precipitates are filtered out.


Patent
Atomic Energy of Canada | Date: 2014-03-28

A method of measuring ionizing radiation may include the steps of: a) creating charged particles; b) causing the charged particles to generate the electrons; c) collecting at least a portion of the multiplied free electrons using at least two anode pads provided within the chamber, each anode pad producing a corresponding anode output signal, to provide higher sensitivity; and d) recording each anode output signal.


Patent
Atomic Energy of Canada | Date: 2015-08-14

The present invention provides an apparatus for detecting and/or repositioning annulus spacers used to maintain the position of a pressure tube within a calandria tube of a nuclear reactor. The method comprises the steps of: vibrationally isolating a section of the pressure tube; vibrating the wall of said pressure tube within said isolated section; detecting vibration of the wall at a minimum of two axial positions within said isolated sections; and detecting the reduction in vibration level of the wall at one or more of said axial positions in comparison to the remaining axial positions. The apparatus comprises a tool head to be inserted into the pressure tube, the tool head comprising a first end and a second and a clamping block m each of said ends. The clamping blocks are used to vibrationally isolate a section of the pressure tube located between said ends. The apparatus also comprises piezo-actuators operable to vibrate said pressure tube; and accelerometers used for measuring vibration of said pressure tube.


Patent
Atomic Energy of Canada | Date: 2014-03-28

A tool may be inserted into the pressure tube inside a calandria tube of a fuel channel of a nuclear reactor. Once in position, the tool may act to generate information useful for determining a location for an annulus spacer. Once the annulus spacer has been located, the tool may act to generate information useful for determining a compressive load on the annulus spacer due to the annulus spacer being pinched between the two tubes. In both the locating and the load determining, the tool may act to isolate a section of the pressure tube, excite the isolated section of the pressure tube with vibrations and measure resultant tube vibrations. Tube vibration characteristics, determined from the vibrations, may then be analyzed to determine an axial location along the pressure tube for the annulus spacer and/or determine a load on the annulus spacer.


Patent
Atomic Energy of Canada | Date: 2015-05-27

The present invention relates to filters used to remove debris from water being sucked into a piping system. It has particular application use in nuclear power plants, which, after a loss of coolant accident, must pump cooling water back into the reactor core from a collection sump. This water may contain various types of debris that must be removed before the water is sent back into the reactor cooling system. There are restrictions on the allowable pressure drop across the strainer and the space available for installing this equipment. The finned strainer of the present invention addresses these issues while maximizing the quantity of debris filtered from the water.


Patent
Atomic Energy of Canada | Date: 2016-04-25

An annulus spacer for a fuel channel assembly of a nuclear reactor, and method of manufacturing an annulus spacer. The fuel channel assembly includes a calandria tube and a pressure tube positioned at least partially within the calandria tube. The annulus spacer includes a garter spring configured to surround a portion of the pressure tube to maintain a gap between the calandria tube and the pressure tube. A girdle wire is positioned substantially within the garter spring and configured to form a loop around the pressure tube. The girdle wire includes a first segment and a second segment that overlaps the first segment to form an overlap, the overlap extending between approximately 45 degrees and approximately 135 degrees to reduce the possibility of girdle wire twisting.

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