Nuclearelectrica (SNN), the operator of the Cernavoda nuclear-generating station in Romania, has awarded the two year-contract that includes works related to refurbishing Unit 1 CANDU reactor at the Cernavoda facility


Cernavoda nuclear power plant. (Credit: RizeaLavinia/Wikipedia)

Candu Energy, a member of Canada’s SNC-Lavalin Group, has won a $65m pre-refurbishment contract from Romania’s state-controlled nuclear power company.

Nuclearelectrica (SNN), the operator of the Cernavoda nuclear-generating station in Romania, has awarded the two year-contract for works related to Unit 1 CANDU reactor at the facility.

The contract builds on SNC-Lavalin’s last pre-project mandate at Cernavoda, announced last year, and comes ahead of the nuclear power station’s life extension.

It is a part of the preparation for the upcoming Cernavoda Unit 1 Refurbishment project, which extends the reactor’s operating life by 30 years, up to 2060.

Under the terms of the contract, SNC-Lavalin will provide long lead and front-end engineering services for the utility.

The contract supports European energy security and Romania’s Net Zero goals, said SNN.

Nuclearelectrica CEO Cosmin Ghiță said: “We are happy to continue the strategic partnership we have with SNC-Lavalin, advancing the NPP Cernavoda Unit 1 Refurbishment Project, which will provide Romania with another 30 years of baseload clean energy.

“Moreover, the extension of the lifetime of Unit 1 will continue to bring multiple benefits to Romania: preserving high-quality jobs, as well as creating new ones, investments in the community, an important contribution through taxes, as well as projects for the local supply chain, as part of our vision to create a sustainable future for the next generations.”

The Cernavoda nuclear power plant is located in south-eastern Romania and features two CANDU reactors of 700MW each.

The two CANDU units are said to supply around 20% of uninterrupted, emissions-free, low-cost, electricity to consumers and businesses in Romania.

Both the Romanian government and SNN intend to complete Units 3 and 4 at Cernavoda, which would be reactor new-builds, designed to use CANDU technology.

SNC-Lavalin will leverage its full lifecycle nuclear expertise, and prior experience across reactor design, and design modifications, along with prolonged operation and life extensions.

Its Canadian nuclear business will employ specialised personnel to carry out design and procurement engineering work and design new infrastructure and buildings.

SNC-Lavalin will work together with Ansaldo Nucleare to procure engineering services for the balance of plant activities, continuing the long-term partnership between the companies.

In addition, it will partner with Sargent and Lundy, CITON, and GE (General Electric) Steam Power, to supply engineering services associated with the refurbishment of Unit 1.

SNC-Lavalin president and chief executive officer Ian L Edwards said: “Our longstanding work at Cernavoda is a leading example of how we operationalise our commitment to engineer a better future for our planet and its people.

“This life extension will provide many future generations of Romanians with energy security, cost-efficient power, and will allow Romania to continue to benefit from the reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions by over 10 million tonnes a year that the CANDU reactors at Cernavoda have achieved.”