Candu Energy performing pre-project work for Qinshan refurbishment

August 5, 2022, 12:10PMNuclear News
The CANDU reactors at Qinshan. (Photo: Wikimedia/Atomic Energy of Canada Limited)

SNC-Lavalin subsidiary Candu Energy recently announced that it is engaged in pre-project design and engineering work at the Qinshan Phase III nuclear power station in China’s Zhejiang Province with Third Qinshan Nuclear Power Company (TQNPC), the plant’s operator.

The work will facilitate a 30-year life extension of the site’s two 677-MWe CANDU-6 pressurized heavy water reactors and is being carried out in two phases, SNC-Lavalin said in a July 27 media release. The PHWRs, Units III-1 and -2, commenced commercial operation in December 2002 and July 2003, respectively. The supplier of the units, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s commercial reactor division, was acquired by SNC-Lavalin in 2011.

Phase facts: Started in 2021 and now nearly completed, phase one of the work has involved producing engineering input planning, a retube preparation plan, auxiliary services design, and a scope summary for phase two, according to the announcement.

The work’s second phase will see Candu Energy “produce technical specifications and renderings for key reactor components and provide services to assist TQNPC in proceeding with procurement activities associated with the reactor refurbishment,” the announcement stated. This phase will also “allow critical preparatory engineering work associated with the refurbishment to proceed early while permitting the remaining work to be more accurately scoped.” Phase-two work is set to begin this year and wrap up in 2024.

From the C-suite: “SNC-Lavalin has a track record of success and a level of expertise with this technology that is truly unmatched,” said Joe St. Julian, president of nuclear at SNC-Lavalin. “We are the only company to have successfully undertaken multiple reactor life extension projects on CANDU reactors across Canada and around the world—including in South Korea and Argentina. We remain the called-upon leaders in our field for life-extension work, in addition to our expertise across the whole nuclear lifecycle. Our capabilities span design and new build, asset management, late-life management, as well as decommissioning and waste management.”

In case you missed it: Romania’s Nuclearelectrica, the state-owned operator of that nation’s two-unit Cernavoda nuclear power plant, last month awarded Candu Energy a contract to conduct design and engineering services for the facility’s Unit 1 refurbishment project.

Nuclearelectrica is seeking to extend the life of Cernavoda-1, a 650-MWe CANDU-6 PHWR, which began commercial operation in 1996, to 2060. The utility plans to continue operating the unit through 2026 and perform the refurbishment in the 2027–2029 time frame.

The contract, reportedly worth some C$64 million (about $49.8 million), calls for Candu to provide engineering and early procurement services for retubing work to replace key components of the Cernavoda-1 reactor core, including fuel channels, pressure tubes, and feeders.

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