International Perspective

The Government of Canada is responsible for Canada’s foreign nuclear policy, which encompasses our non-proliferation principles, and which in turn has important implications on our nuclear industry and our values as a peaceful country.

The CANDU technology has been a Canadian success story with a track record of excellent performance in export markets, most recently in Romania with the construction of the second unit on schedule and on budget. The lifetime capacity factors of the CANDU reactors abroad average over 90% compared to around 80 percent in Canada. The prospects for new nuclear power reactors abroad are quite promising according to recent outlooks. Canada, as one of the few countries in the world offering reactor technology and related services, is well positioned to benefit from the renewed global interest in nuclear energy. Currently, there are nine CANDU reactors in operation outside of Canada. There are four CANDU reactors in operation in South Korea, two in China and Romania, and one reactor in Argentina.

CANDU Reactors outside Canada
Nuclear Station Country MWe In service date
Wolsong 1 South Korea 1 x 629 1983
Wolsong 2 South Korea 1 x 629 1997
Wolsong 3 South Korea 1 x 629 1998
Wolsong 4 South Korea 1 x 629 1999
Embalse Argentina 1 x 600 1984
Qinshan 1 China 1 x 665 2002
Qinshan 2 China 1 x 665 2003
Cernavoda 1 Romania 1 x 629 1996
Cernavoda 2 Romania 1 x 629 2007

Source: NRCan

Canada is a member country of both the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the two foremost international organizations that deal with the safe use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes. It is also a member of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) and International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC).

Nuclear Energy Agency

The NEA is a specialized agency within the OECD. The 28 member countries of the NEA are from Europe, North America and the Asian Pacific region accounting for approximately 85% of the world’s installed nuclear capacity. The main role if the NEA is to assist member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international cooperation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for the safe, environmentally friendly and economic use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It is an excellent forum for sharing information and experience, and promoting international cooperation. The NEA represents an important forum for mutual exchange of information, ideas and experience with respect to nuclear energy and nuclear waste policies.

International Atomic Energy Agency

The IAEA is an independent intergovernmental organization within the United Nations and has 144 member countries. It serves as the world’s intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology. It was created to promote peaceful applications of atomic energy worldwide for humanity’s benefit while guarding against the spread of its destructive use.

Both the NEA and the IAEA work closely together. The mandate of the IAEA is broader and more politically sensitive due to its focus on nuclear non-proliferation matters.

Generation IV International Forum (GIF)

Canada is also a member of GIF. With the signing of the Generation IV Framework Agreement in February 2005, Canada became a partner in the development of the next generation of nuclear power reactors. Nuclear experts from GIF countries have identified the six most promising Generation IV technologies that GIF members will work on. Together they will share resources, expertise and facilities to undertake the R&D necessary to establish the viability of Generation IV nuclear technologies. These advanced nuclear systems are expected to be deployed between 2020 and 2030, and to be safer, more reliable, more economic and more proliferation resistant than current technologies. For more information, please visit http://www.gen-4.org/index.html.

International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC)

The International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation provides a forum for cooperation among participating states to explore mutually beneficial approaches to ensure the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes proceeds in a manner that is efficient and meets the highest standards of safety, security and non-proliferation. Canada joined IFNEC in November 2007 when it was known as the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). For more information, please visit http://www.ifnec.org/.