The Unit 1 CANDU reactor alone supplies 10% of Romania’s electricity, providing an emissions-free, energy-secure, and uninterrupted flow of power

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SNC Lavalin headquarters in Montreal. (Credit: Jeangagnon/Wikimedia Commons)

Candu Energy Inc., a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group (TSX: SNC), has been selected by Nuclearelectrica S.A. (SNN), operator of the Cernavoda Nuclear Generating Station in Romania, to conduct design and engineering services for the Unit 1 CANDU reactor at the facility, as the first step to a future life extension project to support energy security and the country’s Net Zero goals. As part of the 2.5-year contract, worth roughly $64 million, SNC-Lavalin will provide engineering and early procurement services for retubing work to replace key components of the reactor core: fuel channels, pressure tubes and feeders, for Cernavoda Unit 1, which would see the reactor’s operating life extended to 2060. The Unit 1 CAND reactor alone supplies 10% of Romania’s electricity, providing an emissions-free, energy-secure, and uninterrupted flow of power.

“Europe is contending with the most significant energy crisis of this century; it is faced with the challenge of shifting electricity generation to sources that are Net Zero while also working to ensure the continuity of its energy supply,” commented Ian L. Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer, SNC-Lavalin. “This project not only contributes to SNC-Lavalin’s Net Zero philosophy and our purpose: engineering a better future for our planet and its people, but it also advances the refurbishment of the Cernavoda reactor that provides Romania with energy security and has contributed to the reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions by over 10 million tonnes a year.”

As part of the mandate, SNC-Lavalin will deploy specialized personnel from its nuclear business to the Cernavoda site to carry out the work. This includes experts across design engineering, reactor engineering analysis, and procurement qualification. The multi-disciplinary project team will collaborate closely to bring together their expertise across feeders, fuel channel design, and stress analysis to ensure cost-effective and time-efficient project delivery. SNC-Lavalin’s full lifecycle nuclear expertise and its best practices developed from similar work on nuclear plants in New Brunswick (Point Lepreau), Ontario (Darlington and Bruce Power), South Korea (Wolsong), and Argentina (Embalse) will also be leveraged to maximize outcomes for the Cernavoda retubing.

“Romania needs renewed nuclear power capacities for producing clean, stable and affordable energy, as a solution for achieving energy security and the protection of consumers,” said Cosmin Ghiță, CEO of Nuclearelectrica S.A. “We have a long-term mission of generating clean energy (33% of the total decarbonized power in Romania) at excellent standards of safety, and the refurbishment of Unit 1 will provide Romania with another 30 years of baseload clean energy. We are proud to sign this contract with SNC-Lavalin on this vitally strategic project.”

Nuclear is one of the cornerstones of SNC-Lavalin’s business and this win builds upon the Company’s long-term framework agreement with SNN over the last 10 years. The agreement has seen SNC-Lavalin provide multiple services, including feeder inspection & replacement, as well as fuel channel inspections and safety upgrades for the Cernavoda CANDU reactors. SNC-Lavalin also announced in May 2022 that it had been contracted to undertake performance optimization work on the Unit 1 CANDU reactor.

“We are pleased to continue our forty-plus year relationship with SNN and Romania, as they prepare their CANDU reactors to serve future generations as dependably as they’ve served past generations,” said Joe St. Julian, President, Nuclear, SNC-Lavalin. “As the steward and original equipment manufacturer of CANDU technology, no one knows this reactor, or how to execute a successful retubing of it, better than we do. We are proud that our CANDU technology will continue contributing to the prosperity of Romania and its people; providing emissions-free, baseload electricity its economy can depend on in all weather conditions, and in all geopolitical environments, for the next 30 years.”

Preparing Cernavoda’s CANDU reactors to continue serving Romania’s future generations with stable, decarbonized power is aligned with SNC-Lavalin’s Engineering Net Zero blueprint; it is our commitment to advance projects that help clients decarbonize their assets, manage climate risk and build climate resiliency.

Source: Company Press Release