Two New Nuclear Reactors Will Be Built in Romania Using US Technology

Two new nuclear reactors at the Cernavoda plant will strengthen Romania’s energy independence, thanks to a three billion dollar financing from the US.

Following signing two loans with the US, Romania’s Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă declared on Thursday that two new nuclear reactors will be constructed at the Cernavoda nuclear power facility in the country’s southeast.

Romania targets energy independence

According to Ciuca, the initial work phase, funded by a $50 million US loan, will be finished by 2025. By 2030, the two reactors will have been built thanks to a $3 billion US loan.

“By increasing its capacity to produce electricity from nuclear power plants, Romania is taking important steps towards energy independence through clean technology, which is an alternative solution for reducing harmful emissions,” said Ciuca.

He made a point of stating that 25 strategic alliances between the US and Romania formed the foundation of the nuclear project.

Strengthening energy system

At the Cernavoda plant, two power production units are already in use; Romania aims to construct two more to strengthen its energy independence.

The government-owned corporation Nuclearelectrica, which supplies more than 18% of the nation’s total energy output, owns the nuclear plant.

Romania will use American technologies

After abandoning an early proposal to create the new reactors through a partnership with China, Romania and the US reached an agreement in 2020 granting Romania access to American nuclear technology.

Following the visit to the US by Virgil Popescu, minister of the Romanian economy and energy, the document was signed. Reactors 3 and 4 at Cernavoda will be developed in collaboration with US firms, while Reactor 1, the first nuclear plant ever built, will be renovated.

Agreement with the US, Canada and France

According to Minister Popescu, the works would be carried out by a partnership of corporations from the US, Canada, and France, and the Agreement gives Romania access to US CANDU 6 technology.

As early as August 20, 2019, when Presidents Klaus Iohannis and Donald Trump signed a joint declaration in Washington committing to collaborate in the civil nuclear sphere, the cooperative initiative between Romania and the US was made public.

A subsequent deal between Nuclearelectrica, a corporation under the control of the Ministry of Economy, and a Chinese company to build the same goals in Cernavoda was canceled.

Development of a modular reactor in Romania

A contract to bring small nuclear reactors SMR to Romania was signed on November 4, 2021, between Nuclearelectrica in Romania and NuScale Power, a private US company.

Six modules with a combined installed capacity of 462 MWe are being considered for installation here by Romanian authorities. The first components will be produced, according to NuScale Power, in 2022.

A deal agreed this month to build a US-designed small modular reactor in Romania is the latest blow landed by Washington in a battle with Russia and China over energy in Eastern Europe and sets an example to a region trying to wean itself off coal.

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