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Nuclearelectrica advances Cernavoda NPP Unit 1 Refurbishment Project through new agreement with SNC-Lavalin Group

7 Mar

Nuclearelectrica advances Cernavoda NPP Unit 1 Refurbishment Project through new agreement with SNC-Lavalin Group

Press release

Nuclearelectrica advances Cernavoda NPP Unit 1 Refurbishment Project through new agreement with SNC-Lavalin Group

 Bucharest, 7th March 2023

 SN Nuclearelectrica SA advances Cernavoda NPP Unit 1 Refurbishment Project by selecting Candu Energy Inc., a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group (TSX: SNC) to conduct further pre-project work for Cernavoda’s Unit 1 CANDU® reactor, ahead of its life-extension to support Romania’s energy security and decarbonization goals.

 The two-year agreement, worth roughly $65 million, will see SNC-Lavalin perform long lead and front-end engineering services, in preparation for the upcoming Cernavoda Unit 1 Refurbishment project. The refurbishment will extend the Unit 1 reactor’s operating life with 30 more years, up to 2060.

“Unit 1 Refurbishment is part of Nuclearelectrica’s commitment to contribute to Romania’s repower through clean, low cost and 24/7 available energy. We proud to capitalize on our 26 years of nuclear expertise at the highest standards of safety and productivity, work along top international specialists and complete this strategic project for Romania’s energy security, decarbonization targets and new generation of specialists”, states Cosmin Ghita, Nuclearelectrica CEO.

Specialized personnel from SNC-Lavalin’s Canadian nuclear business will carry out design and procurement engineering work necessary in order to execute design modifications and recommendations arising out of SNC-Lavalin’s condition assessment, also recently performed along with Ansaldo Nucleare, as part of the refurbishment of Unit 1. Additionally, new infrastructure and buildings that are necessary at site to support reactor retubing activities will be designed. Also, within the project, SNC-Lavalin will work with Ansaldo Nucleare which will supply engineering services for the balance of plant activities, continuing the long term partnership between the companies. Other key supporting organizations include Sargent and Lundy, CITON and GE (General Electric) Steam Power who are expected to supply engineering services associated with the refurbishment of Unit 1.

We are happy to continue the strategic partnership we have with SNC-Lavalin, Ansaldo Nucleare, Sargent and Lundy, CITON and GE (General Electric) Steam Power, as top professionals in the industry, and we are keen on advancing the Cernavoda NPP 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 to locl and national budget, as well as projects for the local supply chain, as part of our vision to create a sustainable future for the next generations.” said Cosmin Ghiță, CEO of Nuclearelectrica SA.

SNC-Lavalin is the only organization which has participated in all CANDU reactor life extension projects to date globally. This includes projects located in New Brunswick (Point Lepreau), Ontario (Darlington and Bruce Power), South Korea (Wolsong), and Argentina (Embalse). The Company’s full lifecycle nuclear expertise, and prior experience across original reactor design, design modifications, as well as prolonged operation and life extensions, will be leveraged to maximize customer outcomes for Cernavoda’s pre-project work.

Our longstanding work at Cernavoda is a leading example of how we operationalize our commitment to engineer a better future for our planet and its people,” commented Ian L. Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer, SNC-Lavalin. “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.”

As of 2029, through Unit 1 Refurbishment, around 5.5 million MWh of clean, affordable, resilient energy will be delivered annually in SEN (National Energy System),  and more than 5 million tons of CO2 will be avoided on an annual basis, for another 30 more years.

Unit 1 of NPP (CNE) Cernavoda, with an installed power of 700 MW, was commissioned in 1996 and has delivered, up to the present, 133 million MWh, representing 9% of national consumption over a period of 26 years. Also, Unit 1 has prevented the release into the atmosphere of 130 million tons of CO2.

Stages of Unit 1 Refurbishment

The Unit 1 Refurbishment Project, initiated in 2017, is implemented in three stages, in accordance with the experience and international practice in the field.

Phase I of the Refurbishment Project was initiated following Resolution no. 9/28.09.2017, by which SNN shareholders approved Phase I of the Cernavoda NPP Unit 1 Refurbishment Strategy. Phase I, carried out in the period 2017-2022, consisted in: Demonstrating the capability of the current components of the reactor of Unit 1 to operate for more than 210,000 hours at the rated power, until at least the end of 2026, finalizing the purpose of the works in the Refurbishment Project, as well as demonstrating the feasibility of the Refurbishment Project, a stage that was completed in February 2022 with the approval by General Meeting of Shareholders of the Feasibility Study and of the investment decision. The estimated cost of the investment is 1.85 billion EUR.

Phase II, started in February 2022, will be carried out until 2026 and considers the following main activities: Providing the financial resources for carrying out the Unit 1 Refurbishment Project; Negotiating and granting the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contracts; Procuring equipment with a long manufacturing cycle; Assessing, Preparing and Scheduling the Activities to be carried out; Obtaining the Opinion of the European Commission – Article 41 of the Euratom Treaty; Obtaining all the authorizations and approvals necessary to start the project, etc.

Phase III, which will be carried out in the period 2027-2029, starts with the shutdown of Unit 1 and consists of the actual performance of the works in the Unit 1 Refurbishment Project within the facilities of the unit, and its recommissioning, in order to be commercially operated for another lifecycle of 30 years, after the year 2029.

About Nuclearelectrica

The National Company “Nuclearelectrica” SA is the national Romanian company which produces electricity, heat and nuclear fuel operating under the authority of the Romanian Ministry of Energy, with the Romanian state holding 82.49% of shares and other shareholders holding 17.50%, after the listing of the company at the stock exchange in 2013.

The NPP (CNE) Cernavoda branch operates two CANDU nuclear units, which are two of the most high-performance units among the more than 400 nuclear plants in the world, a nuclear fuel factory and is in the process of carrying out an integrated fuel cycle through the procurement of a uranium concentrate processing line, in order to support the long-term investment projects of the company.

Nuclearelectrica has a major role at national level, contributing by more than 18% of the nuclear energy in the total energy production and by 33% in the total CO2-free energy production in Romania.


About SNC-Lavalin

Founded in 1911, SNC-Lavalin is a fully integrated professional services and project management company with offices around the world dedicated to engineering a better future for our planet and its people. We create sustainable solutions that connect people, technology and data to design, deliver and operate the most complex projects. We deploy global capabilities locally to our clients and deliver unique end-to-end services across the whole life cycle of an asset including consulting, advisory & environmental services, intelligent networks & cybersecurity, design & engineering, procurement, project & construction management, operations & maintenance, decommissioning and capital – and delivered to clients in key strategic sectors such as Engineering Services, Nuclear, Operations & Maintenance and Capital. News and information are available at or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About SNC-Lavalin’s Nuclear Business

SNC-Lavalin has over 70 years’ of global nuclear expertise, delivering nuclear technology products and full-service solutions to nuclear utilities around the world. With an innovative technology portfolio, including access to over 500 patented solutions, SNC-Lavalin solves technically complex challenges across the whole nuclear lifecycle from design and new build through asset management and from life extension and late life management through decommissioning and waste management. SNC-Lavalin operates and manages government nuclear research sites, transforming ageing infrastructure and safely managing legacy nuclear waste. SNC-Lavalin is the steward of CANDU® nuclear technology, operating on four continents, and provides advisory and engineering services to other nuclear developers. SNC-Lavalin is also involved in developing medical radioisotopes for cancer research through its partnership with TerraPower.



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