CANDU History

1941 George C. Laurence builds one of the world’s first nuclear reactors at the National Research Council laboratories in Ottawa.
1944 National Research Council builds nuclear research facility at Chalk River, Ontario.
1945 Canada becomes the second country to control nuclear fission in a reactor – the ZEEP (zero energy experimental pile) at Chalk River.
1952 Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) is created to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
1954 Wilfrid B. Lewis initiates the development of the CANDU reactor through cooperation between AECL, Ontario Hydro and Canadian General Electric Company.
1962 The NPD (Nuclear Power Demonstration) reactor – Canada’s first electricity-producing reactor – comes online feeding power to the Canadian electricity grid for the first time. The 20 MWe reactor successfully demonstrates the feasibility of the CANDU concept with on-power refuelling and heavy water moderator and coolant.
1968 The Douglas Point facility – Canada’s first full-scale nuclear generating station – comes online. Operated by Ontario Hydro, the reactor uses the CANDU design.
1971 The first CANDU reactor begins commercial operation (at Pickering A Unit 1) in Ontario. It produces more electricity than any other nuclear power facility at the time.
1971-1973 All 4 Pickering A units online
1977-1979 Bruce Units 1-4 come on line
1983 In Canada, Point Lepreau and Gentilly-2 begin commercial operation.
Korea’s Wolsong 1 reactor begins commercial operation this year as well.
CANDU reactors hold seven of the top 10 places for lifetime performance.
1983-1986 4 units at Pickering B begin commercial operation
1984 Argentina’s Embalse reactor begins commercial operation
1984-1987 Four 915 MWe reactor units begin operation at Ontario Hydro’s Bruce B site.
1987 The CANDU reactor is ranked as one of Canada’s top 10 engineering achievements of the century in celebrations marking Canada's engineering centennial.
1990-1993 Four final Darlington units are in operation.
Canada has 22 nuclear power reactors in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.
1996 Two CANDU reactors are sold to China in what is the largest commercial contract between China and Canada in the 20th century.<</td>
1996 Romania’s Cernavoda 1 station begins commercial operation.
1996 Bruce Unit 3 becomes the first CANDU reactor in the world to reach 100 million MWh of lifetime gross energy production, which is enough to supply a city the size of Thunder Bay for 90 years.
1997-1999 Korea's Wolsong units 2-4 begin commercial operation.
2001 First tests of mixed oxide fuel (MOX) underway at Chalk River.
2002-2003 Two CANDU units in China are delivered under budget and four months ahead of schedule; the fastest construction of a nuclear power facility in China.
2005 Bruce Power Units 1 and 2 retube begins
2007 Romania’s Cernavoda 2 comes online
2008 New Brunswick Power begins refurbishing the Point Lepreau generating station.
2009 KHNP begins retubing the Wolsong 1 generating station.
2011 Wolsong 1 returns to the grid after a successful retube project extends the life of the station by up to 30 years.
2012 Bruce Units 1 & 2 returned to the grid after successful retube project.
Point Lepreau generating station returned to commercial operation following successful retube project.
Gentilly-2 placed in safe shutdown
2015 Embalse Life Extension outage begins
Darlington Life Extension outage begins
IVCN Pre-Project awarded to SNC-Lavalin for a new build in Argentina