News & Analysis

Canadian and Romanian nuclear suppliers forge partnerships during trade mission

A team of 19 Canadian-based nuclear equipment and service providers visited Romania in October for meetings and site visits to build partnerships supporting the refurbishment of unit one at Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP; pictured above) and the potential completion of units three and four. The trade mission was led by the Organisation of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI) with strong support by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in Bucharest and co-funding from the Global Affairs Canada CanExport Associations programme.

The delegates met with Romanian nuclear suppliers who are members of the nuclear supply chain organisation ROMATOM. Delegates also visited the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) and the Pitesti Institute for Nuclear Research (ICN). Executives from the Romanian Ministry of Energy, Nuclearelectrica, the Romanian Agency for Radioactive Waste Management, the Romanian nuclear regulator (CNCAN), and ROMATOM briefed the Canadian delegates on recent developments in energy supply planning, CNPP operations, nuclear waste storage, nuclear regulation and quality management. Two days of B2B meetings among the Canadian delegates and Romanian nuclear suppliers were also a key part of the week-long trade mission. The capabilities across the Romanian nuclear industry were highlighted by the first and third place world ranking of Cernavoda units two and one in terms of lifetime capacity factors among all operating NPP’s.

“Romanian nuclear suppliers, Nuclearelectrica, and other key agencies in Romania’s nuclear sector confirmed their intent to continue and enhance collaboration with the Canadian nuclear industry that begin more than 30 years ago with the construction of CANDU nuclear plants at the Cernavoda Site,” said OCNI President and CEO Dr Ron Oberth.

“The increasing electricity demand combined with plans to shut down all coal generating station by 2030 to meet Romania’s GHG emission reduction targets will require continued reliance on clean energy from CNPP as well as consideration of additional CANDU units at the Cernavoda Site,” said ROMATOM Executive Director Gheorghe Lucaciu. “ROMATOM will release a study by year end demonstrating the strong economic and jobs impact of constructing two more CANDU units at Cernavoda.”

Two important agreements were announced during the week-long trade mission. SNC-Lavalin and Nuclearelectrica signed a 13.9 million US dollar contract to undertake a condition assessment of CNPP unit one in preparation for refurbishment. In addition, Nordion (Canada) Inc. and Nuclearelectrica concluded an MOU to evaluate the potential commercial production of Cobalt 60 at CNPP. Cobalt 60 is used to sterilise single-use medical devices, reduce pathogens in food and treat certain forms of cancer.

“The next steps in Romano-Canadian nuclear collaboration could see a team of Nuclearelectrica project managers and Romanian suppliers visiting Canada in early 2020 to learn more about the challenges involved in multi-faceted planning, contracting, and execution of life extension projects at OPG Darlington GS and at Bruce Power,” added Dr Oberth.

OCNI, ROMATOM and Canadian trade commissioners in Bucharest also began preliminary planning for a follow-up Canadian trade mission in October 2020 to build on the results of this mission and continue to explore the financial and supply models for the construction of Cernavoda units three and four.