S. Korea signs consortium deal with Canada, Italy for nuclear reactor refurbishment in Romania

South Korea's state-run energy company said Thursday it is taking a step closer to winning a project worth around 2.5 trillion won (US$1.87 billion) to refurbish an aging nuclear reactor in Romania's Cernavoda power plant through a consortium with Canadian and Italian firms.

The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) signed a tripartite consortium agreement with Canada's Candu Energy Inc. and Italy's Ansaldo Nucleare S.p.A. to jointly conduct a project to refurbish Cernavoda's unit 1 reactor.

The signing ceremony took place at the headquarters of Romania's nuclear energy company SNN, or Nuclearelectrica, in the capital city of Bucharest on Thursday (local time), the company said.

Located some 170 kilometers east of Bucharest, the unit with a capacity of 700 megawatts has been in operation since 1996 and its 30-year operating license is supposed to expire in 2026.

The Romanian government has sought to renew the license for an additional 30 years and SNN plans to upgrade and replace key components starting in 2027, the KHNP said.

Under the agreement, the KHNP will lead the construction part of the project, including building radioactive waste storage and other infrastructure, while Candu and Ansaldo will take charge of the engineering and procurement work as original designers of the unit.

"The three companies will begin preparations for negotiations with SNN about the envisioned project," the KHNP said. "The three companies seek to sign a contract with the Romanian entity within the first half of next year."

If signed, the envisioned contract will be the second large-scale export of nuclear power facilities for the Yoon Suk Yeol government after South Korea won a 3 trillion-won deal in August 2022 to build Egypt's first nuclear power plant project in El Dabaa.

The Yoon administration reversed the nuclear phase-out policy of the preceding government and set a target of exporting 10 nuclear power reactors by 2030.

In June, the KHNP won a 260 billion-won deal to build a tritium removal facility at the Cernavoda plant.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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