The 20 MW Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor was Canada’s first nuclear power reactor to supply electricity to Ontario Hydro’s electrical distribution grid. NPD began operations in 1962 and for 25 years served as an important training facility for future reactor engineers and operators. In 1988, following permanent shutdown of the reactor, removal of the fuel and power generating equipment from the site, Ontario Hydro transferred the responsibility of monitoring and licencing of NPD to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL).
While AECL still owns the NPD site, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is responsible for the facility, which is presently in the Storage with Surveillance phase of decommissioning under a Decommissioning Waste Facility License issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).
The NPD site is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River near the town of Rolphton Ontario, roughly 3 km downstream from the Des Joachims Generating Station and approximately 25 km upstream from the Chalk River Laboratories (CRL).
The NPD site currently consists of a limited number of structures, including the main reactor building, a diesel generator, a guardhouse and a ventilation stack. Several temporary structures are being added to support the decommissioning project.
Proposed decommissioning technique - The proposed in-situ decommissioning activities include removing the above ground structure and placing contaminated materials into the below grade structure. The below grade structure, reactor vessel and systems and components will be sealed by grouting. The structure will then be capped with concrete and covered with an engineered barrier. In-situ decommissioning will isolate the contaminated systems and components inside the below grade structure.