CANDU reactors can operate economically and reliably for up to 60 years. After about 30 years of operation, reactor core component replacement gives another 30 years. The project that allows for the reactors' continued operation is called life extension.
All utilities that operate CANDU reactors are actively planning on life extension. The benefits are clear:
- Ongoing operation is economically competitive compared to all other alternatives
- Excellent public support for continued operation and especially high public support near the plant
- Clear environmental benefits
- Ongoing development of high technology and innovation in the region, and a positive socio-economic contribution, for an additional 25 to 30 years
Candu is uniquely able to undertake life extension projects due to the following:
- People – a core team of hundreds of staff already working on life extension projects
- Resources and technology – 15 years of investment to improve the core retubing schedule, cost and technology successfully used in the four units at Pickering A in the 1980s
- Proven track record – we apply project management expertise and technology used to deliver the last six new CANDU reactors on time and on budget
- Our ongoing improvement as the original design agency for CANDU units, including those recently built and successfully operated
In August 2011, Argentina’s NASA hired Candu to provide life extension services to the Embalse nuclear power plant. This followed the successful life extension of Korea’s Wolsong 1 reactor, which was completed in July 2011.
Candu recently wrapped up up life extension projects at Bruce 1 and 2 units in Ontario, Canada and completed a subcontract to continue the life extension of the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant in New Brunswick, Canada.