KHNP and Sargent & Lundy to collaborate on Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant modernization

Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) has signed an agreement with USA-based engineering firm Sargent & Lundy to collaborate on a planned modernisation project at Romania’s Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP), World Nuclear News reports.

Romania has two 650 MWe (net) pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs) at its Cernavoda site, which together provide about 17% of the country’s electricity.

As part of a modernisation project, the Cernavoda plant is planning to order tritium removal facilities, radioactive waste storage facilities and pressure channels.

The Cernavoda reactors are of the same design as the Wolsong nuclear power plant in South Korea, at which KHNP has already completed a similar modernisation project. Sargent & Lundy has also participated in upgrading Canadian PHWRs.

“With this in mind, it is expected that the company will be able to bring new vitality to the domestic nuclear power industry through the joint venture with domestic nuclear power companies and the Romanian nuclear power plant business,” KHNP said.

The South Korean company said it plans to focus its efforts on gaining orders in Europe, including in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Located in Constanta County, the Cernavoda plant was initially planned as the site for five Candu 6 reactors. Units 1 and 2 started operations in 1996 and 2007, respectively.

In October 2017, Nuclearelectrica received shareholder approval to start upgrading unit 1 of the Cernavoda plant. Phase I of the refurbishment project will include “activities necessary to ensure the operation of unit 1 for a period of 30 years, meaning the extension of the operating hours at nominal power in addition to the 210,000 hours initially estimated by the design,” Nuclearelectrica announced. The refurbishment outage at the unit is expected to take place between December 2026 and December 2028.

KHNP is South Korea’s largest electric power company. It generates approximately 31.5% of the total electric power generated in South Korea. In 1976, construction began on the Wolsong Generating Station in South Korea, Canada’s first third-generation reactor export to Asia. Since then, South Korea has added three more CANDU units to its Wolsong facility.

The CANDU nuclear power plants are owned and operated by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), a wholly government-owned corporation. KHNP operated 24 nuclear power units and another 8 are under construction. Out of the 20 operational units, four are CANDU-6 reactors at the Wolsong Nuclear Power Site. Nuclear power provided about 30% of total power generation in South Korea in 2014.

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