Canadian Consulting Engineer

SNC-Lavalin in consortium proposing second nuclear reactor at Point Lepreu

A study by MZ Consulting of Saint John, New Brunswick looked at the economic viability of building a new 1,100-MW n...

February 20, 2008   Canadian Consulting Engineer

A study by MZ Consulting of Saint John, New Brunswick looked at the economic viability of building a new 1,100-MW nuclear reactor next to the existing 630-MW reactor at Point Lepreau on the Bay of Fundy. It found that there was a market in the Maritimes and U.S. for the plant, but a proposed LNG natural gas generation unit also being studied for New Brunswick would present competition. The construction cost of the nuclear plant would be a key factor in whether it would be a success, said the report released February 4.
A few days later, SNC-Lavalin Group and other companies who are part of “Team Candu” proposed teaming up with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AEL) to finance a $5-billion ACR 1000 rector at the site. The consortium proposed not only constructing the plant, but continuing to own it and operate it afterwards, selling power to the utility. The other members of the Team Candu partnership are General Electric, Hitachi and Babcok & Wilcox.
According to a report in the Globe and Mail, the New Brunswick Energy Minister, Jack Keir, was considering the proposal, and said: “I’m listening to the private sector, and the private sector says, ‘Here’s the cheque, when do we start?'” He continued, “It’s up to us to decide whether we want it to be purely a merchant project, or whether we want to take an equity stake, and if so, how much.”
A $1.6 refurbishment is currently under way at the existing reactor at Point Lepreau.

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