Romanian CANDU Project at full power

ROMANIA - The European Union's second CANDU nuclear power plant has achieved continuous full power and has been placed in service.

Cernavoda Unit 2 CANDU nuclear power station was officially commissioned on October 5 during ceremonies attended by Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and senior officials from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL).

"Today marks a significant achievement for both Canada and Romania," said AECL Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Ken Petrunik. "With Cernavoda's Unit 2 CANDU nuclear power plant achieving in-service operation, it joins Unit 1 to make the CNE-Cernavoda Station the largest power producer in the country. The AECL designed CANDU station has matured to be a world-class operation."

A consortium of AECL and Ansaldo Nuclear of Italy, along with the Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica (SNN) SA, Romania's nuclear public utility, were contracted in 2003 to manage the construction of the partially completed Unit 2 power plant and to commission it into service.

Mr. Petrunik noted that the Cernavoda Unit 2 project included about $500 million in Canadian content for sophisticated equipment and components, as well as professional engineering, project management and other technical services. The project created about 5,500 person years of direct employment in Canada, mainly in high-end manufacturing in Ontario.

Cernavoda Unit 2 is the second in a series of 700-megawatt CANDU 6 power plants to be completed and is located approximately 165 kilometres east of Bucharest. Cernavoda Unit 1 CANDU nuclear power plant began operating at full power in 1996 and has had record capacity factors of 90 per cent since 2005. Unit 1 recently completed over 300 days without an interruption in service.

Mr. Petrunik added, "The successful completion of the Unit 2 project can be attributed to the excellent performance of the AECL-led project management team and a strong partnership with our customer SNN. It also demonstrates the readiness of the CANDU supply chain for on time delivery of the materials and services. Canada and AECL have had a key role in this recent nuclear achievement and it is a source of pride for the Canadian nuclear industry."

Martyn Wash, President of the Organization of CANDU Industries (OCI) stated, "We congratulate SNN on the successful completion of Cernavoda Unit 2. Our Ontario-based members are pleased to have been involved as it created hundreds of millions of dollars of work for Canadian industry."

Nuclear power now accounts for about 20 per cent of Romania's energy supply and significantly reduces its dependency on expensive energy resources from outside of Europe. Canada's CANDU technology has contributed to Romania's healthy nuclear industry, and has proven to be an important economic asset for the country. CANDU technology also enhances energy self-sufficiency as both nuclear fuel and heavy water are produced by Romania.

"By using nuclear power, Romania is able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 million tonnes each year. AECL is pleased to be part of the success of Cernavoda with its strong performance and we look forward to the continuation and enhancement of this success story," added Mr. Petrunik.

Romania is currently preparing for the completion of Units 3 and 4 in the series of CANDU power plants, thus allowing AECL's partnership in Romania to continue in the coming years. In addition, AECL's Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR-1000) has been selected as the technology of choice for several Canadian markets, including Alberta, where a site application has been filed for two twin-units, and New Brunswick, where a feasibility study is underway.

Internationally, the ACR-1000 has been selected by the United Kingdom as one of four technologies to be reviewed in its Generic Design Assessment process for new nuclear.


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