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Splitting Atoms, Canadian Style Dr. Jeremy Whitlock Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. Canadian Nuclear Society CNS Seminar on Canada’s Nuclear Technology UOIT, Oshawa, October 15th, 2009 C A N D U The Canadian Reactor that Could and still Can “One of Canada’s top ten engineering achievements of the past century” Canadian engineering centennial, 1987 (Other nine: CPR railway, St. Lawrence seaway, Polymer Corp. synthetic rubber, oil sands development, Hydro Quebec HV transmission system, Beaver aircraft, Alouette satellite, Bombardier snowmobile, trans-Canada telephone network) In the beginning … 1898-1907 … McGill University Describes radioactivity, half-life Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1908 1910 … Nuclear structure of atoms 1919 … First artificial transmutation: 14N + 4He 17O + p Ernest Rutherford (1871 - 1937) Otto Hahn, 26 yrs. old (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1944) Ernest Rutherford McGill University, 1905 “If it were ever possible to control at will the rate of disintegration of the radio-elements, an enormous amount of energy could be obtained from a small amount of matter” Ernest Rutherford, 1904 1930 … Gilbert Labine (1890 - 1977) Discovery of uranium at Great Bear Lake Port Hope refinery, 1933 1932 … John Cockroft (1897 - 1967) Ernest Walton (1903 - 1995) Cockroft and Walton’s 1932 accelerator First to “split the atom”: 7Li + p 4He + 4He Nobel Prize in Physics: 1951 John Cockroft, Ernest Rutherford, Ernest Walton 1932 … James Chadwick (1891 - 1974) Discovers the neutron, 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics, 1935 Start of the Neutron Transmutation Bandwagon # protons ? # neutrons “The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine” Sir Ernest Rutherford, 1933 (1871 - 1937) 1939 … January: FISSION! (Hahn, Strassmann, Meitner, Frisch) September: WAR! (Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo) 1940 … Have heavy water, will travel Lew Kowarski Hans von Halban 1941-42 … George Laurence (1905 - 1987) World’s first large-scale fission experiments in graphite (National Research Council) 100 Sussex Drive, Ottawa Aug. 17, 1942 … “Okay, let’s go!” C.D. Howe Cdn. Wartime Minister of Munitions & Supply G.C. Laurence, C.D. Howe, C.D. Howe C.J. Mackenzie, J.D. Cockroft (1886 – 1960) Aug., 1945 Dec. 2, 1942 … Enrico Fermi (1901 - 1954) First self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction Nobel Prize in Physics: 1938 Chicago: December 2, 1942 1943 … “Montreal Group” (NRC, at U. of Montreal) John Cockroft George Laurence 1944 … Chalk River Laboratories 1945 … ZEEP: first reactor to reach criticality outside the U.S.A. Lew Kowarski Chalk River: September 5, 1945 Canada in 1945: • Second largest nuclear infrastructure on the planet • Atomic bomb knowledge • World experts on heavy-water reactor • Uranium supplies • World’s most powerful research reactor (NRX) under construction … WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE…? Canada’s Choice: Peaceful Applications of Nuclear Energy NRX (1947) NRU (1957) A Mecca for nuclear research 1951 … COBALT CANCER THERAPY “The Atom Bomb That Saves Lives” Maclean’s Magazine, 1952 University of Western Ontario University of Saskatchewan FIRST PATIENT: 27 Oct, 1951 FIRST PATIENT: 8 Nov, 1951 1952 … Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. 1950’s … Triple Axis Spectrometer, 1958 Bertram Brockhouse Nobel Prize in Physics, 1994 Tandem Accelerator, 1959 Ted Litherland, Allan Bromley, Harry Gove Dec. 12, 1952 … NRX Accident Partial meltdown of core Demonstrated that a major reactor accident need not be a disaster Taught many lessons about reactor safety, and made Canada world leader in this area George Laurence: 1956: Chair of Reactor Safety Advisory Committee 1961-1970: 2nd President of Atomic Energy Control Board 1957 … International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Canada instrumental in establishing IAEA Follows Eisenhower’s 1953 “Atoms for Peace” speech 1959 … McMaster Nuclear Reactor 1962 … Nuclear Power Demonstration Rolphton, Ontario: June 4, 1962 Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. Ontario Hydro-Electric Power Commission Canadian General Electric Wilfrid Bennett (W.B.) Lewis (1908 - 1987) • The driving force behind the application of nuclear science to electricity production. • Canada decides to build its program on its attained expertise: natural-uranium fuel and heavy-water moderator. W.B. Lewis: “The father of CANDU” AECL and Power Plant Design • 1958: AECL creates Nuclear Power Plant Division in Toronto • Later renamed Power Projects, then Engineering Company, then AECL CANDU, then AECL Sheridan Park • 1966: First plant project of Power Division starts up (“first critical”): Douglas Point (40 years ago this year) Pickering, Ontario (1971-73, 1983-86) Darlington, Ontario (1990-93) Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD), Ontario (1962) Bruce, Ontario (1977-79, 1985-87) CANDU in Douglas Point, Canada Ontario (1966) Gentilly 1 and 2, Quebec (1971, 1983) Pt. Lepreau, New Brunswick (1983) Wolsong, South Korea (1982, 1997-99) Embalse, Argentina (1984) Qinshan, China (2002-03) Cernavoda, Romania CANDU (1996, 2007, …?) around the world Kanupp, Pakistan (1972) Rajasthan, India (1973, 1982) A Canadian Gift to the World: Cancer Therapy and Nuclear Medicine Chalk River Laboratories YOU ARE HERE NRU Research Reactor (AECL Chalk River) Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR-1000) • Optimizes the CANDU product • More efficient and cost-effective • Light water coolant, heavy-water moderator • Maintains all advantages of heavy-water reactor • Competes against advanced fossil and reactor designs ONTARIO: Refurbishment, new-build NEW BRUNSWICK: Refurbishment, new-build QUEBEC: Refurbishment ALBERTA, SASKATCHEWAN: The NEW NUCLEAR FRONTIER? NUCLEAR NORTH OF 60? Perceptions are changing? It’s still about good people NPD design team (CAPD), Peterborough, 1955 doing good work Thank you Canadian Nuclear Society: www.cns-snc.ca “Canadian Nuclear FAQ”: www.nuclearfaq.ca
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