AECL is developing a next generation CANDU design to meet market requirements for low cost, reliable energy supplies. The primary product development objective is to achieve a capital cost substantially lower than the current nuclear plant costs, such that the next generation plant will be competitive with alternative options for large-scale base-load electricity supply. However, other customer requirements, including safety, low-operating costs and reliable performance, are being addressed as equally important design requirements. The main focus of this paper is to address the development directions that will provide performance assurance. The next generation CANDU is an evolutionary extension of the proven CANDU 6 design. There are eight CANDU 6 units in operation in four countries around the world and further three units are under construction. These units provide a sound basis for projecting highly reliable performance for the next generation CANDU. In addition, the next generation CANDU program includes development and qualification activities that will address the new features and design extensions in the advanced plant. To limit product development risk and to enhance performance assurance, the next generation CANDU design features and performance parameters have been carefully reviewed during the concept development phase and have been deliberately selected so as to be well founded on the existing CANDU knowledge base. Planned research and development activities are required only to provide confirmation of the projected performance within a modest extension of the established database. Necessary qualification tests will be carried out within the timeframe of the development program, to establish a proven design prior to the start of a construction project. This development support work coupled with ongoing AECL programs to support and enhance the performance and reliability of the existing CANDU plants will provide sound assurance that the next generation CANDU plants will meet customer expectations.

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