Romania awards contract for Cernavoda extension

21 January 2020

Candu Energy, a member of Canada's SNC-Lavalin Group, has won a USD10.8 million contract from Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica (SNN) for engineering analyses and assessments on unit 1 of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant in Romania. The work aims to extend the operation of the unit by an additional 35,000 hours.

Cernavoda units 1 & 2 (Image: Nuclearelectrica)

Cernavoda unit 1 provides about 10% of Romania’s electricity demand. Since its commissioning in December 1996, the unit has avoided the emission of more than four million tonnes per year of CO2 that would otherwise have been produced by a fossil fuel plant.

Cosmin Ghita, CEO of SNN, said: "We are keen to optimise operation and production until the effective refurbishment of Cernavoda NPP Unit 1."

The contract is focused on the fuel channel and feeders assemblies with the objective of extending the operating period of the plant by about four years, up to 245,000 effective full power hours from the original design life of 210,000. Such an extension will enable the plant to continue operating safely until it is ready for refurbishment in 2026.

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, SNN had also 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 Cernavoda Unit 1 refurbishment outage.

Meanwhile, Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Oban has said the government plans to exit its agreement with China General Nuclear Power Corporation to build two new reactors, units 3 and 4, at the Cernavoda plant. He told that it was already looking for a new partner for the project.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News