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Announcements from the World Nuclear Exhibition

Global leaders in nuclear energy met last week in Paris for the annual World Nuclear Exhibition, which bills itself as the “world’s leading civil nuclear exhibition.” Representatives from over 80 countries attended, including both government and private enterprises.

Several exciting announcements were released during the three day event, signaling international cooperation and optimism for the growth in nuclear power generation worldwide, including through the deployment (and refurbishment) of both large conventional reactor and small modular reactor (“SMR”) technologies. This blog post collects and summarizes some of the most notable announcements, from a Canadian perspective, emerging from the Exhibition.  

Canada and Romania to collaborate on the refurbishment of Romania’s Cernavoda Power Plant

A three-way contract was announced among:

  1. the Canadian Commercial Corporation (“CCC”, a federal Crown corporation responsible for inter-government contracting);
  2. Societatea Națională Nuclearelectrica SA (“Nuclearelectrica SA”, a Romanian state corporation and the operator of the Cernavoda Plant); and
  3. AtkinsRéalis (formerly SNC Lavalin, the exclusive licensee of the CANDU nuclear reactor design portfolio), to support work to extend the life of one of the operating CANDU reactors at the Cernavoda Plant.

The initiative to refurbish the Cernavoda Plant’s CANDU reactor is in part a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, intended to increase energy security and independence from Russian energy supplies in the region. The Cernavoda Plant currently has two operating CANDU reactors capable of producing 1413 MW of energy, and serves electricity demand in Romania and neighboring Moldova. The contract has an estimated value of CAD $750 MM, and approximately 85% of the project scope is expected to be performed in Canada.

This news follows the announcement by the Government of Canada on September 20, 2023, that it will make up to CAD $3 billion in export financing available to Nuclearelectrica SA, to support the construction of two additional CANDU nuclear reactors at Cernavoda.

New Brunswick Power exploring global SMR deployment

New Brunswick Power (“NB Power”), ARC Clean Technology (“ARC”), and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power jointly announced a memorandum of understanding aimed at the commercialization of ARC’s SMR technology in, among other locations, Canada, Korea, and the United States. ARC’s SMR design, the ARC-100, is a sodium-cooled fast reactor capable of generating 100 MW of electrical power.  The ARC-100 was selected by NB Power for implementation at Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station, for which NB Power has recently applied for a licence to prepare site.

EDF signs agreement with Ontario Power Generation

EDF, a French nuclear operator (and the largest nuclear operator globally), announced a series of cooperation agreements with international counterparties, including for the potential deployment of EDF’s European Pressurized Reactor (“EPR”) and Nuward SMR technologies.   

EDF entered into a letter of interest with Ontario Power Generation (“OPG”), to jointly assess the development potential of EPR technology in Canada. Among other things, the parties intend to assess the technical and licensing requirements for EPR technology in Ontario’s regulatory landscape, and in Canada generally.

OPG announces memoranda of understanding with fuel suppliers

OPG announced that it has entered into memoranda of understanding with several counterparties to secure fuel supplies for its Darlington SMR project.

Canada’s Cameco will supply natural uranium hexafluoride; US-based Urenco USA will provide fuel enrichment services; France’s Orano is to provide additional enriched uranium; and Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas, a joint venture led by General Electric, is to provide fuel fabrication and related technical services and fuel assemblies for the Darlington SMR project.

AtkinsRealis announces new CANDU Monark reactor

AtkinsRéalis presented its new CANDU design, the Monark reactor. This new design boasts the largest output capacity of any CANDU reactor to date (1000 MW), an estimated operating life of 70 years, and lower operating costs than prior designs. As with prior generations of CANDU reactors, the Monark will be able to use natural uranium as a fuel source.


Our team at McCarthy Tétrault regularly advises clients in the nuclear energy sector, including project proponents, designers, operators, suppliers, and subcontractors, on matters ranging from commercial contracts and disputes, to licensing and environmental matters.



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