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AECL to be awarded contract for completion of Romania's Cernovoda 3 and 4 nuclear units.

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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 06:50 PM
Original message
AECL to be awarded contract for completion of Romania's Cernovoda 3 and 4 nuclear units.
I'm a big fan of heavy water nuclear reactor, (HWR) also known as CANDU, developed initially by our neighbors in Canada, because of their high neutron economy, and the possibility, most actively being explored in India, of using these reactors as defacto breeder reactors with uranium-233 derived from thorium while consuming plutonium.

Most of the world's nuclear fleet, roughly 440 reactors, consists of light water reactors, but all Canadas reactors, Argentina's, some of South Korea's reactors, and most of India's reactors are all HWR.

They can also use unreprocessed used nuclear fuel in a fuel cycle known as the DUPIC cycle, since they don't require high enrichments. This option is being most actively explored in Korea, which intends to use used Japanese nuclear fuel.

In Europe, the only country to operate a heavy water reactor is Romania. For many years, Romania operated just one of these reactors, but - albeit under the terrible dictatorship of Nicolai Ceauseceau - 5 reactors were started but only one was completed.

One of the unfinished reactors was finished in the last several years by the new Romanian government and began operating in 2007, and both now operating reactors have been great performers.

Reactors 3 and 4 are now expected to be completed, with financing including ENEL, Italy's power company, which has been desparate in recent years to buy into other country's nuclear plants in order to reduce the high prices paid by Italian electricity consumers as a result of Italy's 1989 nuclear phase out, the only nuclear phase out ever to have actually been completed.

Recently Italy announced an intention to phase out the phase out and build new nuclear reactors.

Canada's AECL has had some hard times, regrettably since they have a great reactor technology - I wish we had 20 or 30 HWR here in the US - but the completion of units 3 and 4 has shown some light at the end of the tunnel.

They have been awarded consulting contracts on the completion of units 3 and 4 at Cernavoda.

Engineering consultation work is to be carried out by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) towards the completion of two units at Romania's Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

The contract will see AECL provide consulting services in the nuclear safety and engineering fields to define the requirements for the completion of the two Candu 6 pressurised heavy water reactor units at Cernavoda. Specifically, the Canadian company will undertake activities such as design, authorisation and assessment of the existing infrastructure and safety conditions at Cernavoda 3 and 4. The deal was made by AECL and EnergoNuclear, a consortium of nuclear utilities and engineering firms managing the completion project.

The contract is good news for AECL, which the Canadian government is looking to 'restructure' with the company's Candu reactor unit likely to move out of government hands. AECL president and CEO Hugh MacDiarmid said the company was delighted with the EnergoNuclear connection. "Our Candu 6 reactor is the top performing reactor in the world... and we believe that this track record of high performance will continue with units 3 and 4," he said.

According to EnergoNuclear general manager Dan Ionescu, the contract is a "significant step towards the completion of units 3 and 4." Based on the experience of Cernavoda 1 and 2, Ionescu predicted that the new units would "substantially increase our nuclear energy capabilities, and provide significant new economic and employment opportunities in the region."




http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=27149&terms=Cernavoda">Romanian reactor contract for AECL

The Cernavoda reactors are unique in the Western World because they - Britain's Calder Hall Reactor which operated for 46 years was the only other Western example, although many Soviet reactors did it too - in as much as they provide district heating, using the waste heat generated in connection with the second law of thermodynamics.

I covered the Romanian nuclear power program on another website where I used to write:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/1/7/681265/-A-Geeky-Company-Report-From-Romania:Nuclearelectrica.">A Geeky Company Report From Romania: Nuclearelectrica.








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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. CANDU - Can Do! Is that a marketing name of what?
Argentina operates two nuclear reactors that provide less than 6.2% (down from 9% in 2003) of the countrys electricity. Argentina was one of the countries that embarked on an ambiguous nuclear program, officially for civil purposes but with a strong military lobby behind it.

Nevertheless, the two nuclear plants were supplied by foreign reactor builders, Atucha-1, a heavy water reactor of a unique design which started operation in 1974, was supplied by Siemens and the Candu type reactor at Embalse by the Canadian AECL. Embalse was connected to the grid in 1983. Atucha-2, officially listed as under construction since 1981, was to be built by a joint Siemens-Argentinean company that ceased in 1994 with the paralization of the project.319 Nevertheless, in 2004 the IAEA estimated that the start-up of Atucha-2 was to be expected in 2005. At the end of 2007, the IAEAs expected start-up date had turned into a question mark that was replaced by 1 October 2010 as a new projected date for grid connection. By the middle of 2008 the plant was about 80% complete.

In July 2007 Argentinas Nucleoelectrica signed an agreement with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) to enter into commercial negotiations over the potential delivery of a 740 MW Candu-6 reactor. In early May 2009 Julio de Vido, Argentinas Minister of Planning and Public Works, stated that planning for a fourth nuclear reactor would be underway and that construction could start as early as within one year.320 However, no siting decision, nor any call for tender has been reported to date.


Not the CANDU specifically but since we are talking about Economic Hitmen...
Brazil operates two nuclear reactors that provide the country with 3.1% of its electricity (down from 4% in 2003). As early as 1970, the first contract for the construction of a nuclear power plant, Angra-1, was awarded to Westinghouse. The reactor went critical in 1981. In 1975, Brazil signed with Germany what remains probably the largest single contract in the history of the world nuclear industry for the construction of eight 1,300 MW reactors over a 15 year period. The outcome was a disaster. Due to an ever-increasing debt burden and obvious interest in nuclear weapons by the Brazilian military, practically the entire program was abandoned. Only the first reactor covered by the program, Angra-2, was finally connected to the grid in July 2000, 24 years after construction started.

The construction of Angra-3 was abandoned in June 1991. Hopes of Eletronuclear, the owner of the plant, to relaunch construction received a severe damper in July 2008 when Environment Minister Carlos Minc announced 60 stiff pre-license conditions for the completion of the unit. The most difficult challenge will no doubt be to provide a definite solution for final disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Indeed, the completion of Angra-3 now looks more doubtful
.322


Canada was one of the early investors in nuclear power and began developing a new design of heavy water reactor in 1944. This set the development of the Canadian reactor program down a unique path, with the adoption of the Candu CANadian Deuterium Uranium reactor design. The key differences between the Candu and the more widely adopted light water reactors are that they are fuelled by natural uranium, can refuel without shutting down and are cooled and moderated by heavy water.

Officially, there are 18 reactors in operation, all of which are Candus providing 14.8% (up from 12.5% in 2003) of the countrys electricity. Four additional units are listed by the IAEA as in long term shutdown. Throughout their operational history the Canadian reactors have been plagued by technical problems that led to construction cost over-runs and reduced annual capacity factors. In August 1997 Ontario Hydro announced that it would temporarily shut down its oldest seven reactors to allow a significant overhaul to be undertaken. The four reactors at Pickering-A were shut down at the end of 1997 with the three remaining Bruce-A reactors closed on 31 March 1998 - unit 2 at Bruce A had already been closed in October 1995. At the time it was the largest single shutdown in the international history of nuclear power -- over 5,000 MW of nuclear capacity, one third of Canadas nuclear plants. The utility, Ontario Hydro, called for the phased recovery of its nuclear reactors starting with extensive upgrades to the operating stations - Pickering B, Bruce B, and Darlington - and then their return to service. There have been significant delays in restarting the reactors and as of May 2009 only four of the eight reactors had returned to operation; two more are scheduled to come back online later in 2009 or early 2010. The two remaining Bruce-A3 and - A4, according to Bruce Power one of North Americas most complex engineering projects, are slated to be back online by 2013.323

In March 2009, Bruce Power announced that it is looking at the Whitemud site close to Lac Cardinal in Alberta for a nuclear plant of up to 4,000MW. The company had selected another site a year earlier but abandoned it following massive opposition. Bruce Power predicts a 10-year site preparation and construction phase, so that the units would start up well after 2020. No decision has been taken at this point.

On 16 June 2008 the Canadian government announced Darlington in Ontario as the site for a two-unit new build project and on 20 May 2009 information leaked that the Ontario government had chosen AECL as the leading bidder over AREVA and Westinghouse to start building the first new nuclear plants in Canada in 25 years. Two new reactors were projected to start operating by 2018.

However, the provincial government reportedly conditioned any go-ahead on financial guarantees by the federal government to cover the financial risks involved.324

In early July 2009, the Ontario government shelved the entire plan and Premier McGuinty stated: "We didn't factor in the single greatest global economic recession in the past 80 years."325 So power needs were actually declining rather than increasing as had been forecasted, leaving the province with more time to make a decision on new build.

New Brunswick is investigating the option of adding a second nuclear reactor at its Point Lepreau site; but meanwhile a $1.4 billion refurbishment project on the first unit is running at least three months late and could extend well into 2010. The unit has been down since April 2008.

Any new-build plan in Canada risks running into massive difficulties. There is substantial local opposition against projects, in particular in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The industry would have to cope with extensive refurbishment and new-build activities at the same time. As in other countries, the Canadian nuclear industry faces a severe shortage in skilled workers. The President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has stated that CNSC is "facing many of same issues as the rest of the nuclear industry", including a 10% annual turnover and 23% of the workforce eligible to retire in the next five years.326 New build would also involve a new design of Candu, ACR-1000, which, unlike the earlier plants, would use light water as coolant. This would have to undergo a thorough regulatory review and its costs are therefore, as yet, impossible to estimate.

AECL has, with the support of the Canadian Export Credit Agency, undertaken an aggressive marketing campaign to sell reactors abroad and to date 12 units have been exported to South Korea (4), Romania (2), India (2), China (2), Pakistan (1), Argentina (1). The export market remains a crucial component of the AECLs reactors development program. In September 2004, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the National Nuclear Safety Administration of China. This MoU will in part facilitate the development of AECLs Advanced Candu Reactors. Canada is the worlds largest producer of uranium and in 2008 produced about 21% of the global total.


All of above from Open Access Doc:
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2009
With Particular Emphasis on Economic Issues
Paris, August 2009

Commissioned by
German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Reactor Safety
(Contract n UM0901290)





From the Home of the CANDU:
In the belly of the nuclear beast, the massive domes of the reactors rise ominously to a height of more than 45 m, their radioactive interiors visible only through the thick windows of airlocks. One level up at Ontario Hydros sprawling Pickering station, 40 km east of Toronto, steam-driven turbines crouch under an array of blue, green and yellow pipes. Nearby, many of the 25 years worth of spent nuclear fuel rods stored at Pickering lie beneath 3.5 m of water in an eerily shimmering pool. Inside the plant, it is hot, noisy and hectic as members of the 2,800-strong workforce go about their business. And on a typical day earlier this year, all seemed well. Two of Pickerings eight CANDU reactors were shut down for routine maintenance, while the remaining six sent about 3,000 megawatts of electricity surging into the provincial grid - enough, in normal circumstances, to supply every home, office and factory in Metropolitan Toronto.

But beneath the surface, there were festering, potentially deadly problems at Pickering and elsewhere among Hydros 19 working reactors - as last weeks report on the corporations nuclear division scathingly demonstrated. The flaws go beyond the poor safety training and sloppy operating practices highlighted in the report. Ontarios CANDUs are growing old - and the four venerable A units at Pickering and three more at the Bruce generating station on the shores of Lake Huron, all of which Ontario Hydro has decided to mothball, may never resume operation. Reason: the reactors, which went into service between 1971 and 1979 - and were designed to last 40 years - are plagued by troubles that include worn pressure tubes, which will soon be in need of replacement, faulty steam generators, and safety features that fall short of the standards set by the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), the federal body that regulates the nuclear industry. "For years, Ontario Hydro has been living in a dream world," says Gordon Edwards, spokesman for the Montreal-based Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. "Now, theyre experiencing a shock of recognition and admitting that everything is not OK."

Hardware failings have also emerged at the two Canadian-operated CANDUs outside of Ontario - at Gentilly, Que., and Point Lepreau, N.B. At both reactors, corrosion has thinned some feeder pipes that carry radioactive heavy water from the reactor core to steam-generating boilers. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. officials say the corrosion has been arrested, but Julie Dingwell, of the Saint John,


N.B.-based group People Against Lepreau, worries that the deficiencies in Ontarios nuclear network may afflict all CANDU operations. "The safety margins have not been good," says Dingwell. "Its really frightening." Nuclear officials maintain that many of the equipment problems are normal and acceptable. "You have to look at the broad context," says Gary Kugler, a vice-president at Mississauga, Ont.-based Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., the Crown corporation that designed and exports the CANDU. "All machinery, including nuclear reactors, shows wear and tear after a length of time." But David Martin, spokesman for the Pickering-area anti-nuclear organization Durham Nuclear Awareness, insists that Ontario Hydro and other reactor operators in Canada face a "fundamental technology problem. Ontario Hydro is shutting down its oldest reactors because they have too many defects - and I predict that they will never be restarted."

When the CANDU (for Canadian deuterium uranium reactor) was designed back in the 1950s, its basic features were supposed to make it more versatile, cheaper to operate and safer than its competitors. At the heart of the CANDU are pellets of radioactive uranium dioxide fuel assembled into pencil-shaped sheaths that, in turn, are grouped inside six-metre-long pressure tubes. Hundreds of tubes are installed in each reactor, where heavy water - also known as deuterium oxide, a molecule containing an extra-large hydrogen atom - slows the movement of free neutrons generated by the uranium. This increases the chances that the neutrons will split uranium atoms and release their pent-up energy in a controlled chain reaction. When that happens, energy is transferred to the heavy water, which heats ordinary water to create steam that drives turbines to produce electricity.

As with many reactors, flaws were inadvertently built into the CANDU from the start...

http://www.encyclopediecanadienne.ca/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=M1ARTM0011389


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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It stands for CANadian Deuterium Uranium. A "CANDU" type reactor.
But please do continue with your giant walls of irrelevant text.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. OK if 200 words are too much for your short attention span... Think "Economic Hitman"
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 09:48 PM by kristopher
...AECL has, with the support of the Canadian Export Credit Agency, undertaken an aggressive marketing campaign to sell reactors abroad and to date 12 units have been exported to South Korea (4), Romania (2), India (2), China (2), Pakistan (1), Argentina (1). The export market remains a crucial component of the AECLs reactors development program. In September 2004, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the National Nuclear Safety Administration of China. This MoU will in part facilitate the development of AECLs Advanced Candu Reactors. Canada is the worlds largest producer of uranium and in 2008 produced about 21% of the global total. p. 91

<snip>

The Cernavoda nuclear power plant in Romania hosts the only Candu (Canadian designed) reactors in Europe. In 2008 they provided 17.5% of the electricity in the country. The power plant was started under the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu and initially was to house five units. Construction was started in 1980 on all the reactors, in part using funding from the Canadian Export Development Corporation, but this was scaled back in the early 1990s to focus on unit 1. Eventually this was completed in 1996 at an estimated cost of around US$2.2 billion and nearly a decade late. The second unit, also completed with foreign financial assistance, a $140 million Canadian loan and a 223 million Euratom loan, was connected to the grid in August 2007 - after 27 years of construction. p. 110

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2009 With Particular Emphasis on Economic Issues

Lead author:
Mycle Schneider
is an independent international consultant on energy and nuclear policy based in
Paris. He founded the Energy Information Agency WISE-Paris in 1983 and directed it until 2003.
Since 1997 he has provided information and consulting services to the Belgian Energy Minister,
the French and German Environment Ministries, the International Atomic Energy Agency,
Greenpeace, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the Worldwide Fund
for Nature, the European Commission, the European Parliament's Scientific and Technological
Option Assessment Panel and its General Directorate for Research, the Oxford Research Group,
and the French Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety. Since 2004 he has been in
charge of the Environment and Energy Strategies lecture series for the International MSc in Project
Management for Environmental and Energy Engineering Program at the French Ecole des Mines in
Nantes. In 1997, along with Japan's Jinzaburo Takagi, he received the Right Livelihood Award,
also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize.



Commissioned by
German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Reactor Safety

(Contract n UM0901290) 



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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. You still have yet to actually drag a point out of all that muck.
You quote semi-random gobs of text that you think support your argument, but your core problem is that you don't have a coherent argument.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Well, I'm sure that Romanian nuclear engineers live in tredpidation of light weight
bloggers googling their way to unoriginal blatherings from the vast circle jerk of other anti-nukes quoting one another.

Actually the world's nuclear community doesn't give a rat's ass about the repetition of anti-nuke drivel from uneducated anti-science brats, which is why Cernovoda 3 and 4 will be completed, and will each produce as much energy as all the windmills in the oil and gas kingdom of Denmark with in the chambers of a small building.

Cernavoda 2 was completed 27 year after the stupid anti-nuke fossil fuel funded cretin Amory Lovins announced confidently that "nuclear power is dead."
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
6. $5 billion price tag.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. For two reactors, that will produce energy for 60 years, each of which will produce more energy than
Edited on Sun Apr-11-10 11:12 AM by NNadir
all of the wind turbines in Denmark.

The wind turbines will not be reliable, will require redundant, expensive non sustainable back up that will be inherently unable to control their wastes in any way, shape or form.

By contrast, the HWR will be able to burn used nuclear fuel from all of the LWR operating in Europe, including French reserve uranium recovered at LaHavre.

Thus these reactors can be operated indefinitely without ever opening a single mine.

This is a wise investment, which will give back to many generations, and will help undo some of the damage that current myopic generations do as a matter of course.

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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I thought that was a good price.
Edited on Sun Apr-11-10 07:19 PM by joshcryer
I've been told here that new nuclear costs upwards of $20 billion to go critical.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
8. Otherwise they'd build stinky, primitive coal and natural gas plants like Germany does.
Good for Romania.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I find it amusing that ENEL couldn't move fast enough on being a partner on these plants.
ENEL, of Italy, of course, was required to phase out nuclear power, and then ran around Europe trying to get reasonably priced electricty.

In recent years they have been trying to buy interests in nulcear power plants in other peoples countries. They tried, and were rejected, to become investors in ENF's Flammanville plant, and became investors in plants in Slovenia and Slovakia and finally, in Romania.

Romania's nuclear industry strikes me as being well run, and I am happy to see expanding heavy water reactor capacity in Europe.

They seem ambitious in this realms, and I wouldn't be surprised in Romania ended up selling electricity to Germany within 20 years or so, particularly when Gerhard Schroeder's owners begin playing politics with those gas lines, much as they do all the time in Ukraine.
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