SNC-Lavalin inks deal with 2 Chinese firms to build Candu nuclear reactors

SNC-Lavalin has signed a deal with two Chinese companies on a joint venture that will see Canadian Candu reactor technology used to build nuclear plants in China and possibly elsewhere.

Deal will see Candu technology used to build reactors in China

SNC has struck a deal that will see Canadian nuclear technology used to make reactors in China. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

SNC-Lavalin has signed a deal with two Chinese companies on a joint venture that will see Canadian Candu reactor technology used to build nuclear plants in China and possibly elsewhere.

The Montreal-based engineering company said in a release Thursday it will partner with China National Nuclear Corp. and Shanghai Electric Group Co. Ltd. to place two "design centres" — one in Canada and another in China — which will develop at least two nuclear power plants in China using the most advanced version of the Candu reactor technology that SNC bought from the Canadian government for $15 million in 2011.

"This is a game changer in the nuclear industry, and a great endorsement of our expertise and ... nuclear technology from the largest nuclear market in the world," SNC-Lavalin Power's president Sandy Taylor said in a release.

The Advanced Fuel Candu reactor (AFCR) will use recycled uranium fuel from existing reactors to produce power. Each AFCR can use the fuel of four light-water reactors to generate up to 6 million megawatt-hours of electricity without needing any new natural uranium fuel, SNC said. Roughly speaking, that's enough to power 4 million Chinese households every year.

The deal comes on the same day Ottawa announced a tentative agreement over two trade disputes between Canada and China, involving Canadian beef and canola.

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