Romanian electricity producer Nuclearelectrica, the operator of the country’s sole nuclear power plant Cernavoda, said that it has awarded a contract for performance optimization works on the plant’s unit 1 to Candu Energy, a member of Canadian SNC- Lavalin Group.
The statement from the company said that Candu Energy will perform axial channel shifting for several fuel channels in unit 1 during a three-year period.
Axial channel shifting is a maintenance activity that adjusts elongation of the reactor’s fuel channel tubes. If performed in advance of the refurbishment, this maintenance activity allows for a more cost-efficient and time-efficient refurbishment process. The effective shutdown of NPP Cernavoda unit 1 for refurbishment purposes is scheduled, based on Nuclearelectrica’s 2027- 2029 development strategy.
The works will be performed during two outages of the plant’s unit 1.
In February, Nuclearelectrica’s shareholders have approved the investment decision for the project for the refurbishment of unit 1 of NPP Cernavoda. CANDU reactors have an initial lifespan of 30 years. Following a refurbishmernt process, this lifespan can be extended by additional 30 years. NPP Cernavoda’s unit 1 was commissioned in 1996.
The investment decision was approved based on the Feasibility Study and Scenario no. 2, „enhanced safety”, considered optimum by Nuclearelectrica. The version approved by the shareholders includes design changes which additionally provide, in comparison to Scenario no. 1, the enhancement of nuclear safety margins of the power plant and take into consideration the new tendencies to increase the robustness from a nuclear safety standpoint.
The current cost for the implementation of Scenario no. 2 is approximately 1.85 billion euros without the financing cost and inflation rate update at the date unit 1 refurbishment contract will be signed.
The second phase, 2022-2026, which starts once with the approval of the investment decision includes the assurance of the financial resources, preparedness of the execution of the identified and defined activities during phase 1 for the refurbishment of unit 1 and obtaining all the necessary approvals and permits to unfold the project, phase which will last until the end of 2026.
Phase 3, 2027-2029, will start once with the shutdown of unit 1 and consists in the effective realization of the refurbishment of unit and its commissioning for a new operation cycle of 30 years, after 2029.