Canada’s international nuclear reputation is synonymous with the CANDU reactor technology. And because innovation is part of AtkinsRéalis’ DNA, the company recently unveiled the CANDU MONARK, more powerful and more advanced than any previous reactor in the line.
On the global energy stage, Canada’s name is synonymous with nuclear power and our legacy in nuclear innovation is driven by CANDU technology. The CANDU reactor has been a workhorse of the world’s clean energy supply for more than half a century, but this proven design continues to be refined and modernized with every new generation of the technology.
Introducing the CANDU MONARK
In a sector where safety and reliability are paramount, it’s significant when a new reactor design is unveiled. And so, all eyes were on the World Nuclear Exhibition (Paris, November 2023) when AtkinsRéalis introduced the new 1000MW CANDU MONARK reactor, with the highest energy output of any CANDU technology on the market today.
“Our nuclear business in Canada, initially with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, has been at the forefront of innovation for over 70 years and introducing the development of the latest reactor design continues this distinguished legacy,” says Ian L. Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer, AtkinsRéalis. “We’re 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.”
The CANDU MONARK leverages the existing strengths of the proven CANDU blueprint, while also boasting a longer operating life and a futureproof suite of integration capabilities, which includes the use of digital technology, allowing it to fit seamlessly within the most advanced and flexible electricity grids of today and tomorrow. The CANDU MONARK also incorporates a module-based design that reduces construction time, making it easier to build than any previous CANDU reactor.
International opportunities power domestic economic growth
The CANDU supply chain within Canada consists of over 250 companies and 76,000 employees, and the introduction of the CANDU MONARK reactor will not only sustain but increase job opportunities for well-paying, strategic roles in the Canadian economy for generations to come, including engineers, scientists, manufacturers, and constructors.
Ultimately, the success of the CANDU MONARK with its world-beating Canadian IP and existing made-in-Canada nuclear supply chain, will guarantee not just low-carbon energy independence, but will also ensure future generations of unionized Canadian jobs that will continue to support our families, our communities, and our economy.
“Ultimately, the success of the CANDU MONARK with its world-beating Canadian IP and existing made-in-Canada nuclear supply chain, will guarantee not just low-carbon energy independence, but will also ensure future generations of unionized Canadian jobs that will continue to support our families, our communities, and our economy,” says Michelle Johnston, President of the Society of United Professionals.
AtkinsRéalis, which specializes in delivering nuclear technology products and full-service solutions to energy providers around the globe, will now shepherd this opportunity into reality. The company’s expertise covers the whole life cycle of nuclear power assets as well as advanced research in spaces such as legacy nuclear waste management and support for the development of medical radioisotopes for cancer research. They’re very much Canada’s emissary to the world in the realm of large-scale nuclear reactors like the CANDU MONARK.
Solutions at scale for a clean energy future
In the face of climate change and the accelerated electrification of infrastructure, global clean electricity demand is forecast to rise and rise and rise in the coming years. The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator has projected that the province of Ontario alone will need to build another 18 GW of nuclear power by 2050. The life extension work that AtkinsRéalis is undertaking on the ten CANDU reactors at Darlington and Bruce Power is a major component of the plan to meet this need. In addition to the current life extension work, more needs to be done to support the energy transition and the journey to net zero 2050. This is where large nuclear reactors come in as part of the solution, ensuring energy security by providing emissions-free, baseload power.
Internationally, utilities and governments are also seeking new large-scale nuclear reactors like the CANDU MONARK as they look to increase energy security and decarbonize their power grids with stable green baseload power. Most recently, in September of 2023, the Canadian government agreed to provide export financing to support two additional CANDU reactors in Romania.
“CANDU reactors are synonymous with Canada,” says Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development for 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.”
Canada has a longstanding and well-deserved reputation for doing things right when it comes to nuclear power. With the advent of the CANDU MONARK, AtkinsRéalis is building on the reliability of that legacy, while updating it to the needs of the 2020s and beyond.
Learn more at atkinsrealis.com.