SNC-Lavalin heads back to China for work on new nuclear reactors

SNC-Lavalin subsidiary Candu Energy Inc. has been awarded a contract by China National Nuclear Power Co. Ltd. (CNNP) for pre-project work on CNNP’s Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) programme.

SNC-Lavalin said CNNP hopes to build two AHWRs in or around 2021.

Candu Energy will produce the top-level licensing basis document (LBD) and outline regulatory and safety requirements applicable to the design, analysis, construction, commissioning and operation of the AHWR.

SNC-Lavalin has long hoped to play a major role in Chinese nuclear power. It holds the license of the Candu reactor technology, and two Candu reactors went online in 2002 and 2003 at China’s Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant (pictured).

In 2016 it signed an agreement in principle with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Shanghai Electric Group Company Ltd to develop the Advanced Fuel Candu Reactor (AFCR).

Now the company said the AHWR is a third-generation 700MW reactor that "builds on legacy Candu tradition".

It said adaptations include enhanced active and passive safety systems and standardised design for reduced maintenance and capital costs.

CNNP operates several nuclear plants in China and is majority owner of Qinshan.

In the current project, Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Institute Co. Ltd. (SNERDI) serves as General Design Institute and technical manager.

China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation (CNEIC) has been designated by CNNP as its foreign trade agent for the contract.

Image: Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant, Zhejiand Province, has two Candu reactors (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited/Public domain)

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