AtkinsRéalis launched the CANDU MONARK reactor on Nov. 28, a 1000 megawatt design. AtkinsRéalis

MONTREAL – While much of the world is talking about small modular reactors, the quintessential Canadian nuclear reactor design is going large – its largest yet.

There’s a new generation of large, Canadian-designed nuclear reactor on the market as of Nov. 28, with the announcement of the CANDU MONARK reactor by  AtkinsRéalis [SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.] (TSX: ATRL).

The announcement comes fresh on the heels of SNC-Lavalin shedding its longstanding name and adopting AtkinsRéalis, after a British subsidiary. SNC-Lavalin had taken over the CANDU portfolio for the Crown corporation Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL), the original developer of CANDU, several years ago.

CANDU stands for CANadian Deuterium Uranium, a unique design that uses natural uranium instead of enriched uranium, and whose design allows for continual refueling on the fly without shutting down the reactor.

AtkinsRéalis launched the CANDU MONARK reactor—at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris, describing it as their most advanced reactor design available. It will have the highest output of any CANDU technology at 1,000 megawatts, putting it in league with competitor Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor.

Notably, Premier Scott Moe told Pipeline Online in August that the province could at some point be looking at 1,000 megawatt reactors.

The announcement of a large reactor is also a substantial shift for the legacy of AECL. In the 1990s, it had tried to develop its own “small” reactor, the planned CANDU 3 which Saskatchewan had expressed interest in, but never followed through with. Perhaps decades before its time, AECL’s “small” reactor

The CANDU MONARK is currently in the definition phase. It leverages CANDU technology’s tested and reliable design features together with the most modern and advanced engineering solutions; a Canadian solution for utilities faced with meeting the dual demands of Net Zero and energy security, AtkinsRéalis said.

“Our nuclear business in Canada, initially with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited Ltd. (AECL), has been at the forefront of innovation for over 70 years and introducing the development of the latest reactor design continues this distinguished legacy,” said Ian L. Edwards, president and chief executive officer of AtkinsRéalis. “We are the current original equipment manufacturer and steward of CANDU technology; these modern large-scale reactors will play a critical role in producing the quantum of additional electricity supply that’s required to power the energy transition, providing energy security and reliable, clean power for millions of people.”

 

Increasing Demand for Clean Power

With increasing electrification of society at large, including industrial processes, cars, building heating, and infrastructure, forecasts of global electricity needs indicate that global power consumption is expected to increase significantly. The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO’s) “Pathways to Decarbonization” report indicated that the province will need to build another 18 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2050. The reactor life extension work that AtkinsRéalis is undertaking at Darlington and Bruce Power will be instrumental in ensuring that the 10 CANDU reactors at those sites continue to support the province’s increasing clean power needs while maintaining one of the lowest carbon footprints for power generation in Canada.

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The designed is expected to have an operating life of 70 years. That would put it around the expected lifetimes of Ontario’s current CANDU fleet, which is just wrapping up their refurbishment programs.

AtkinsRéalis said large-scale nuclear reactors are increasingly sought-after by utilities and governments around the world as they look to decarbonize power grids, produce stable baseload power that is not weather-dependent and increase energy security. In September, the Canadian government agreed to provide export financing to support two additional CANDU reactors in Romania. These additional CANDU reactors at the Cernavoda site would take nuclear power’s share of Romania’s electricity production to 36%, increasing its energy independence while continuing to drive reductions in CO₂ emissions in the country since the last CANDU unit came online in 2007.

The company said CANDU technology is proven, low-cost and has a decades-long global track record of on time and on budget performance. The heavy water reactor technology also has some of the highest capacity factors, composed of reliability and “up-time”, of all reactors in the world, including in Ontario and at Cernavoda in Romania.

“Canadian nuclear technologies are known around the world as being one of the best,” said Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development for Canada. “In fact, CANDU reactors are synonymous with Canada. The new CANDU MONARK reactor design will ensure CANDU technology remains front and centre amid growing interest in nuclear energy around the world as part of the clean energy transition. Congratulations to AtkinsRéalis!”

“The CANDU MONARK reactor is the evolution of a proven Canadian technology that has not only been sought around the world, but for which our clients approach us to refurbish so they can operate it even longer,” said Joe St. Julian, president, Nuclear, with AtkinsRéalis. “They recognize the strength of CANDU technology as a heavy water reactor, and how it stacks up against other products on the market. It’s that enthusiasm from existing and prospective clients, underpinned by global demand for power solutions that provide for both Net Zero and energy security, that spurs innovation like the enhanced reactor designs introduced today.”

 

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  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
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  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
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  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
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  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
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  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
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  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
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  • 0015 Latus Viro
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  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
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  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
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  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
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  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
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