Plant Operation

Romania / Candu Energy Wins $10.8M Cernavodă Contract

By David Dalton
22 January 2020

The work will extend the plant’s operational lifetime by four years
Candu Energy Wins $10.8M Cernavodă Contract
The Cernavodă nuclear power station.
Candu Energy, a member of Canada’s SNC-Lavalin Group, has won a $10.8m contract from Romania’s state-owned nuclear company Nuclearelectrica for engineering analyses and assessments on Unit 1 of the Cernavodă nuclear power station with the objective of extending its operational lifetime by four years.

Candu Energy said the contract is focused on the fuel channel and feeders assemblies with the objective of extending the operating life of the 650-MW Candu 6 plant by up to 245,000 effective full power hours (EFPH) from the original design life of 210,000 EFPH.

The extension will enable the plant to continue operating until it is ready for refurbishment in 2026.

Candu Energy said nuclear power plant refurbishments are large and complex undertakings which require an in-depth assessment of the condition of plant systems and equipment. In October 2019, Nuclearelectrica awarded SNC-Lavalin and its partner Ansaldo Nucleare the condition assessment work, which will determine the scope of repair and replacement of other equipment as part of the Cernavodă -1 refurbishment outage.

Ramona Manesco, Romania’s former minister for foreign affairs, told a forum in Brussels last year that Romania’s objective is to refurbish Cernavodă-1 and by 2030 to build a new unit on the same site, although beyond 2030 the country is considering new Generation IV reactors including small modular reactors.

Her comments appeared to contradict previous announcements that Nuclearelectrica was planning two new units at Cernavodă. Nuclearelectrica has said the two units will also be Candu-6 plants.

There are two units at the Cernavodă site, in the east of the country. Cernavodă-1 began commercial operation in December 1996. The identical Cernavodă-2 began commercial operation in November 2007. Between them the two units provide about 17% of Romania’s electricity generation.

The Candu nuclear plant is a pressurised heavy-water reactor design developed in the late 1950s and 1960s by a partnership that included Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario and Canadian General Electric. The acronym used for its name derives from “Canada Deuterium Uranium”. It refers to its deuterium oxide (heavy water) moderator and its use of natural uranium fuel, which is not enriched with U-235.

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