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Nuclear medicine

Saskatchewan and Hitachi sign R&D agreement

REGINA and TOKYO – The Government of Saskatchewan and Hitachi, Ltd. have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding joint research and development (R&D) of nuclear medicine technology.

Saskatchewan has also signed an MOU with Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd. (Hitachi-GE), GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC (GEH), and Global Nuclear Fuel – Americas, LLC (GNF-A) to discuss the potential of working together on future nuclear R&D projects of mutual interest, including nuclear safety, uranium recovery and design of small modular reactor technologies.

Hitachi and Saskatchewan have a 40-year cooperative relationship in the power generation field, including work on coal, natural gas and wind generation technologies.

Hitachi has provided generation facilities to Saskatchewan Power Corporation (SaskPower), a power utility based in Saskatchewan.

In 1988, Hitachi established Hitachi Canadian Industries Ltd. as a manufacturing base for power generation equipment in Saskatchewan with SaskPower, deepening its relationship with the power utility. In February 2010, SaskPower and Hitachi agreed to collaborate on the advancement and implementation of technology in the fields of low-carbon energy technologies, including Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS).

Hitachi is also providing an innovative, first-of-its-kind turbine and generator for SaskPower’s world leading Boundary Dam Integrated CCS project. In May 2010, Saskatchewan and Hitachi reached a landmark agreement with the signing of a joint declaration to work together and share information for developing energy and environmental technologies, including CCS for thermal power plants, renewable energy and smart grid technologies.

With the nuclear medicine announcement, Saskatchewan and Hitachi have deepened the cooperation further. Through its power systems business, Hitachi has developed a Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) system based on its technologies and know-how related to accelerators, irradiation and control systems.

In May 2008, Hitachi’s first spot scanning irradiation technology that can concentrate irradiation dose to the tumor formation has started patient treatment at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Proton Therapy Center in the U. S., one of the world's largest hospitals specializing in cancer treatment.

This marked the first clinical application of spot scanning irradiation technology in a general hospital. Also, Hitachi entered into an agreement to provide a major general hospital with PBT systems which employed the spot scanning irradiation technology in 2011. Saskatchewan has evaluated Hitachi’s leading-edge technologies and expertise, and agreed to pursue joint R&D projects in the field of nuclear medicine.

Eighteen CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) reactors are currently in operation in Canada, delivering about 15% of the country’s overall generating capacity.

Canada is the world’s largest producer of uranium, which serves as a nuclear fuel, and all of Canada’s uranium is produced in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan, Hitachi-GE, GEH, and GNF-A plan to collaborate on potential nuclear R&D projects of mutual interest including design and feasibility of small modular reactors technologies and reclamation of unused uranium fuel from new fuel rods that have been rejected for use in reactors as a result of quality control programs.

Saskatchewan and four other parties will fund $10 million for two MOUs that will facilitate and support research collaborations in nuclear medicine, materials science, nuclear safety and small reactor design.

Innovation Saskatchewan, a special operating agency established by the Government of Saskatchewan to coordinate the Province's support for R&D and science and technology, and the four other parties will each provide $5 million over the next five years to support R&D activities pursuant to the MOUs in collaboration with Saskatchewan-based research institutions, including the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, the Saskatchewan Research Council and the Canadian Light Source.

The $10 million investment in nuclear R&D builds on announcements by the Government of Saskatchewan earlier this year to invest $30 million for the establishment of a new centre for research in nuclear medicine and materials science, $17 million for the establishment of a Centre for Innovation in Cyclotron Science, $12 million to support innovative research in the production of life saving medical isotopes and $10.1 million for the development of Saskatchewan's first PBT/Positron Emission computerized-Tomography (PET) facility for diagnosis and treatment of cancer and heart disease at the University of Saskatchewan.

Looking ahead, Saskatchewan and Hitachi will contribute to improving treatment outcomes for people with cancer by working to develop and promote new nuclear medical technology in Canada. Also, Saskatchewan, Hitachi-GE, GEH, and GNF-A will build a collaborative relationship to research the design and feasibility of small reactor technology with the goal of safely and reliably generating clean energy and helping to achieve a low-carbon society.

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2010 (ended March 31, 2011) consolidated revenues totaled 9,315 billion yen ($112.2 billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.

About Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd
Hitachi-GE, a joint venture established by Hitachi, Ltd. and General Electric Company in July 2007, as one of the world's leading comprehensive plant manufacturers, engages in the development, planning, design, manufacture, inspection, installation, pre-operation, and maintenance of nuclear reactor-related equipment and is able to execute integrated project management. Hitachi-GE has been involved with 23 reactors in Japan to date, including those currently under construction. Among them, it has participated in all of Japan's Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) projects - four ABWRs are already operational and three are under construction. Overseas, it has supplied major nuclear reactor equipment for the Lungmen Nuclear Power Plant in Taiwan.

About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in June 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety.

About Global Nuclear Fuel – Americas, LLC
GNF is a joint venture of General Electric, Toshiba Corporation and Hitachi, Ltd. Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF) is a world-leading supplier of boiling water reactor fuel, including uranium dioxide and MOX fuel and fuel-related engineering services. GNF operates primarily through Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas, LLC in Wilmington, N.C., and Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co. Ltd. in Kurihama, Japan. About Hitachi’s cooperative relationship with GE in the nuclear power field Hitachi and GE established joint venture companies in 2007 to construct, maintain, and provide related services for nuclear power plants in Japan and the United States, and are proactively pursuing international business activities. The Japanese joint venture, Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd., is roughly 80% owned by Hitachi and 20% owned by GE, and in the United States, GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy is 40% owned by Hitachi and 60% owned by GE. Both companies are utilizing their accumulated know-how and experience to further expand their nuclear power businesses in global markets. SOURCE: Hitachi, Ltd.


Posted September 8, 2011

 

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