home Existing Fleet, U AtkinsRéalis-led consortium signs $750M contract supporting Romanian CANDU reactor life extension

AtkinsRéalis-led consortium signs $750M contract supporting Romanian CANDU reactor life extension

Candu Energy Inc., an AtkinsRéalis company [SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.] (TSX: ATRL) and the Canadian Commercial Corporation (“CCC”), a federal Crown corporation, have signed a contract with Nuclearelectrica S.A. (SNN) to provide engineering, technology and procurement of tooling and reactor components in support of the life extension of SNN’s Unit 1 CANDU® reactor at the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant in Romania. The contract is valued at approximately $750 million.

AtkinsRéalis previously announced on November 7th that it and CCC had received an award letter for the mandate. The contract was formally signed on November 28th at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris, in a ceremony attended by Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade & Economic Development of Canada (ministry responsible for the CCC), Dan Drăgan, State Secretary, Romanian Ministry of Energy, Teodor Chirica, President of the Board of Nuclearelectrica SA, Bobby Kwon, President & CEO, CCC, Ian L. Edwards, President & Chief Executive Officer, AtkinsRéalis, and Joe St. Julian, President, Nuclear, AtkinsRéalis.

“The fundamentals in the nuclear power market show there will be a sustained, robust demand from governments globally for reactor life extensions and new builds,” commented Ian L. Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer, AtkinsRéalis. “Since the early 1970s, about 600 commercial nuclear power reactors were built around the world, with about 440 still in operation1. Many of these reactors are near the end of their service lives. With the global demand of base-load electricity forecasted to double or triple2, equating to a market for over 1,000 new reactors, there are many life extension opportunities that our highly advanced CANDU technology is well positioned to capture, while helping Canada maintain its vital status as a Tier-1 nuclear nation.”

As the exclusive licensee of the Canadian-owned CANDU intellectual property portfolio and contributing its unique expertise to all aspects of CANDU technology, AtkinsRéalis is the only organization that has taken a leading role in all CANDU reactor life extension projects to date globally, including those successfully executed or underway in Asia, North America, and South America. Multi-billion dollar work currently being performed by AtkinsRéalis for CANDU reactor life extension projects in Ontario, spanning 10 reactors at Darlington and Bruce Power, is running on time and on budget.

“CANDU technology is one of Canada’s commercial success stories,” said Joe St. Julian, President, Nuclear, AtkinsRéalis. “It competes on the global stage through export opportunities like to Romania, while offering a homegrown solution to Canada’s growing domestic energy needs. CANDU reactors are one of only a handful of large reactor technologies available to build. It’s a special technology with unique advantages. It uses natural uranium as fuel, co-produces cancer-fighting medical isotopes, can be refuelled online, and boasts impeccable safety and operating efficiency standards.”

“We are happy to extend our collaboration for the Retubing and Refurbishment Project of Cernavoda Unit 1 NPP with AtkinsRéalis, which has proven its experience and capabilities. As Unit 1 is a strategic pillar for Romania’s energy stability, we are proud to conduct this project at excellent standards and continue to offer clean energy for the following 30 years after its refurbishment. Moreover, the extension of the lifetime of Unit 1, as well as the future two more CANDU Units we have in plan, 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 local 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.

CCC has received final approval from the Government of Canada. The last step for the contract’s entry into force is the approval of SNN’s General Meeting of Shareholders.

CANDU Technology for Romania and Europe

  • The two CANDU units at Cernavoda supply 20% of Romania’s electricity. The country has avoided the release of 210 million tonnes3 of CO2 since the two units came online in 1996 and 2007, respectively. Cernavoda’s long-term operation is central to helping Romania reach its goal of energy stability and decarbonization, as well as phasing out nearly 4 gigawatt hours of coal-fired power by 2032.
  • The Romanian government and SNN have also announced their intent to build two more CANDU reactors at Cernavoda. Four operational CANDU reactors at the plant would take nuclear power’s share of Romania’s electricity production to 36%. SNN has also signed an MOU with a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation to collaborate on the production of life-saving medical isotopes using their CANDU reactors. Co-production of medical isotopes while the reactor concurrently produces power is a unique feature of CANDU technology, successfully leveraged already by CANDU operators in Ontario.
  • The Unit 2 CANDU rector at Cernavoda holds the world record for highest capacity factor4 (composed of reliability and up-time) of any nuclear reactor globally. CANDU technology in Ontario holds the record for achieving the longest continuous operation for any nuclear reactors5 in the world.
  • Long-term operation of CANDU technology, both via Cernavoda’s existing and upcoming new CANDU reactors, will unlock Romania’s potential to become a regional hub for energy security and clean electricity in Eastern Europe with the support of Canadian technology. The unique ability of CANDU reactors to burn unenriched uranium offers an additional layer of energy security, via bypassing fuel enrichment; a requirement present with all other large reactor designs.

About AtkinsRéalis

Created by the integration of long-standing organizations dating back to 1911, AtkinsRéalis is a world-leading professional services and project management company dedicated to engineering a better future for our planet and its people. We create sustainable solutions that connect people, data and technology to transform the world’s infrastructure and energy systems. 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. The breadth and depth of our capabilities are delivered to clients in key strategic sectors such as Engineering Services, Nuclear, Operations & Maintenance and Capital. News and information are available at www.atkinsrealis.com or follow us on LinkedIn.

About AtkinsRéalis’ Nuclear Business

AtkinsRéalis has over 70 years’ of global nuclear expertise, delivering nuclear technology products and full-service solutions to nuclear utilities around the world. AtkinsRéalis is the steward of CANDU® nuclear technology, operating on four continents, and provides advisory and engineering services to other nuclear developers. With an innovative technology portfolio, including access to over 500 patented solutions, AtkinsRéalis 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. AtkinsRéalis operates and manages government nuclear research sites, transforming ageing infrastructure and safely managing legacy nuclear waste. AtkinsRéalis is also involved in developing medical radioisotopes for cancer research through its partnership with TerraPower. Read more on our Nuclear market page.

® CANDU is a registered trademark of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, used under exclusive license by Candu Energy Inc., a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. doing business as AtkinsRéalis.

Forward-Looking Statements

Reference in this press release to the “Company” or to “SNC-Lavalin” means, as the context may require, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. doing business as AtkinsRéalis or all or some of its subsidiaries or joint arrangements or associates. Statements made in this press release that describe the Company’s or management’s expectations or strategies may be “forward-looking statements”, which can be identified by the use of the conditional or forward-looking terminology such as “expects”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “may”, “objective”, “plans”, “projects”, “should”, “will”, “likely”, or the negative thereof or other variations thereon. Forward-looking statements also include any other statements that do not refer to historical facts. All such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the “safe-harbour” provisions of applicable Canadian securities laws. The Company cautions that, by their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, and that its actual actions and/or results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements, or could affect the extent to which a particular projection materializes. Forward-looking statements are presented for the purpose of assisting investors and others in understanding certain key elements of the Company’s current objectives, strategic priorities, expectations and plans, and in obtaining a better understanding of the Company’s business and anticipated operating environment. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes. Forward-looking statements made in this press release are based on a number of assumptions believed by the Company to be reasonable as at the date hereof. The assumptions are set out throughout the Company’s 2022 Annual MD&A (particularly in the sections entitled “Critical Accounting Judgments and Key Sources of Estimation Uncertainty” and “How We Analyze and Report our Results”) and as updated in the first and second quarters of 2023 MD&A each filed with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada, available on SEDAR+ and on the Company’s website at under the “Investors” section. If these assumptions are inaccurate, the Company’s actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward looking statements. In addition, important risk factors could cause the Company’s assumptions and estimates to be inaccurate and actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by these forward-looking statements. Those risks are identified in the Company’s 2022 Annual MD&A (particularly in the sections entitled “Risk and Un certainties”) and as updated in the first and second quarters of 2023 MD&A and are not exhaustive. The forward-looking statements herein reflect the Company’s expectations as at the date of this press release and are subject to change after this date. The Company does not undertake to update publicly or to revise any such forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by applicable legislation or regulation.

Source: AtkinsRéalis