Romanian utility Nuclearelectrica said it had contracted SNC-Lavalin Group member Candu Energy for engineering and design services connected to refurbishing the Unit 1 reactor at the Cernadvoda Nuclear Power Plant.
The contract is reportedly valued at $49.5 million. It is the first step in the reactor life-extension program and is expected to involve 2.5 years of engineering services. Once completed, the refurbishment is expected to allow the reactor, which generates 10 percent of the country’s electricity, to operate through 2060.
CANDU reactors have an initial lifecycle of 30 years, which can be extended by another 30 years, following a refurbishment process, and this is what Nuclearelectrica is currently doing for Unit 1, which was put into commercial operation in 1996.
Within the contract, Candu Energy will provide engineering services for the development of the technical documentation for the procurement of long-lead reactor components, which will be replaced during the project, Also, Candu Energy will offer engineering services for the assessment of the conditions of the set of specialized tools which will be used for the replacement of the reactor components and the developing of the documentation for the procurement of the components which need to be replaced/modified.
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 GMS of the Feasibility Study and of the investment decision.
Phase II of the Unit 1 Refurbishment Project was initiated following the approval, in the General Meeting of Shareholders held on 23 February 2022, of the investment decision within the Cernavoda NPP Unit 1 Refurbishment project. The estimated cost of the investment is 1.85 billion EUR. Phase II will be carried out in the period 2022-2026 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.
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