UNENE network participates in Canada-Romania virtual nuclear trade mission


Seven universities from both countries joined decision makers and industry leaders.

MARCH 10, 2021 – Leading academics from Canadian and Romanian universities explored avenues for collaborative research and talent development, as part of the virtual “Canada-Romania Partnership in Nuclear Technologies” trade mission event, March 2 and 3.

UNENE President Jerry Hopwood hosted the panel, which highlighted existing and future opportunities to work together on shared areas of research interest building on already strong academic ties. Hopwood discussed Canada and Romania’s extensive history and continuing academic collaboration. He said it pre-dates the commissioning of Romania’s CANDU nuclear plant, Cernavoda, in 1996 and culminates in Polytechnica University of Bucharest’s addition as UNENE’s first international university member in 2019. 

“It’s an important time for us to be discussing cooperation in the education and university research areas,” says Hopwood. “There’s a tremendous amount of exciting activity going on between Romania and Canada and the universities are very much a part of building up our capabilities for the future.” 

Academic panelists included: 

  • Akira Tokuhiro, Ontario Tech University 
  • Cristian Dincă, Polytechnica University of Bucharest 
  • Dave Novog, McMaster University 
  • Dumitru Chirlesan, University of Pitesti 
  • Eden Mamut, Ovidius University Constanta 
  • Nicolae Mărginean, Horia Hulubei National Institute for R&D in Physics and Nuclear Engineering and 
  • Willy Cook, University of New Brunswick 

Driving the mission in part are plans by Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica (SNN, Romania) for refurbishment of their existing Cernavoda CANDU units, as well as new build of two more units on the site. This is coupled with promising developments globally in small modular reactor (SMR) development, which both countries have been actively engaged in. 

In 2020, a United States-Romania finance deal to support the refurbishment at Cernavoda and additional CANDU-6 new build was announced. At the same time, it was announced AECOM will lead the US $8-billion project to build two new reactors and refurbish the existing reactor at Cernavoda.  

The event was organized by the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI), ROMATOM (the Romanian Atomic Forum), Energynomics, SNN and the Embassy of Canada to Romania. It included industry leaders from other organizations, including the CANDU Owners Group. 

The conference also featured a two-day virtual industry match-making event, which took place March 9 and 10, and featured suppliers from both countries. 

Click here to read the full event announcement from OCNI. 

Click here and here for videos from both days of the virtual trade mission.

Related news…

Canadian connections to Romania’s CANDU refurbishment and new build

Romania’s plans for refurbishment and new-build at its Cernavoda Nuclear Plant have several Canadian connections.  

In January 2020, SNC-Lavalin was awarded a $10.8-million contract by Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica (SNN, Romania) for engineering analyses and assessments on Cernavoda’s Unit 1 reactor.  

Last month, Ontario Power Generation-subsidiary, Laurentis Energy Partners, announced it had signed a $4.86 million contract with SNN, Romania to support refurbishment at its Cernavoda Nuclear Plant. The contract calls on Laurentis to develop a conservation program, to protect the integrity of Cernavoda’s Unit 1 reactor while it is drained of water during refurbishment.    

In 2020, SNN Romania a long-time member of the CANDU Owners Group (COG), increased its participation in COG research programs and, as a result of the increased investment, rejoined the COG Board of Directors. SNN is an active member of the COG C6 Fleet program and is also working with other COG members on projects that will support its refurbishment and new build programs through COG forums and peer groups, R&D and joint projects.   

Click here to read the full SNC-Lavalin contract announcement.

Click here to read the full announcement from Laurentis.