Nuclearelectrica, NuScale & E-Infra sign Memorandum of Understanding to deploy NuScale’s SMR technology on the first SMR site location in Romania
Bucharest, May 24th 2022
At the Small Modular and Advanced Reactors Workshop Planning IV held in Bucharest, co-hosted by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the parties – Nuclearelectrica, NuScale & E-Infra – signed Memorandum of Understanding to explore the deployment of NuScale’s SMR technology on the former Doicesti power plant, Dambovita County.
Following the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”), the companies will conduct engineering studies, technical reviews, and licensing and permitting activities at a site in Doicesti, Dambovita County, Romania, that is the preferred location for the deployment of the first NuScale VOYGR™ power plant.
USTDA awarded a grant to Nuclearelectrica in early 2021, for the conduct of a study to identify and assess several sites across Romania, including locations where existing coal-fired power plants could be replaced with SMR plants. The study identified several potential suitable sites, including the Doicesti, Romania site, determined to be the preferred location for the first SMR deployment.
The selected site, the Doicesti former coal fired plant site, under decommissioning, fully complies with the siting criteria as required by international and national standards. The site is available in due time to meet Romania’s targets for SMR deployment this decade and allow Romania to become a hub for SMR deployment in the region. NuScale’s SMR technology, appropriate for the deployment on Doicesti site is the most mature in terms of regulatory approval, being the first and only SMR in the world to receive approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in August 2020.
Specifically, the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”), outlines the next significant milestones for Nuclearelectrica and NuScale to develop safe, affordable zero-carbon baseload power technology on Doicesti site, owned by Nova Power & Gas, E-Infra Holding. Following the MoU, the companies will advance the examination to deploy this decade a NuScale 6-module, 462 MWe power plant on Doicesti site. The NuScale 6-module power plant is estimated to generate 193 permanent power plant jobs, 1,500 construction jobs, 2,300 manufacturing jobs and help Romania avoid 4M tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director said, “We congratulate Nuclearelectrica and NuScale on this significant step in their partnership. In funding this siting study, our goal was to build stronger ties between the U.S. and Romanian nuclear power industries and create new business opportunities for U.S. industry in an important market. We look forward to the successful deployment of U.S. SMR technology to Romania.”
“I thank our American partners for supporting and endorsing the nuclear programs in Romania, a bilateral strategic partnership started in 1980s. I am proud that Romania’s more than 50 years’ experience in the nuclear energy field is recognized and confirmed with each and every step further which enables us to become one of the first countries to deploy the innovative and safe small modular reactors technology. Also, I want to assure you that the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Prim – Minister Nicolae Ciuca and Romanian Gouvernment sustain this project who will brings our country numerous benefits.”, said Virgil Popescu, Minister of Energy, Romania.
“The site selection and MoU with NuScale & E-Infra do advance the deployment of NuScale technology are based on more than three years from our first MoU with NuScale, in which we analyzed the technology, its safety, its maturity and its readiness towards deployment, following criteria as required by international and national standard criteria We are confident on the potential Doicesti site has to accommodate the first NuScale SMR in Europe. The evaluations of the site assure that the safety standards for nuclear plants can be met on all aspects, and the site will be subject to further examinations, as per standard requirements during the licensing process. Doicesti community has more than 50 years tradition in the energy production field and will be benefiting of the new life of the former plant: local jobs, engineering education for the new generation, projects for the local economy and industry.”, Cosmin Ghita, CEO Nuclearelectrica.
“Today’s agreement is yet another exciting step forward in our partnership with Nuclearelectrica to deploy NuScale’s SMR technology in Romania and help ensure the country can meet its climate commitments while advancing economic growth,” said John Hopkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of NuScale. “We’re looking forward to working with Nuclearelectrica and E-Infra through the site selection process and demonstrating the benefits of our technology to the people of Romania.”
“The old coal-fired power plant in Doicești will return to the National Energy System, with a similar installed capacity, with an ultra-modern, sustainable technology, with a long life. It is a replicable model, almost perfect from an energy and economic point of view, in which the new energy capacity is integrated using the existing connections to the utilities.” said Teofil Mureșan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of E-INFRA, a holding company that includes Nova Power & Gas
“It is a pride for Dambovita County and Doicesti to enter the race for the development of the first small modular reactor. There are many localities in Romania that need an energy source to support their consumption needs and which would like to develop SMRs in their area, and SMRs are a safe technology which has great results.
We are glad that in Dambovita County will be deployed a plant with small modular reactors and we will do our best to support the development of the project in our region. The Doicesti power plant has been operating for 56 years, we have long experience in the energy industry, a solid base to build on. Now, 13 years after its decommissioning, we can extend Doicesti plant life, giving the site a new utility by implementing small modular reactors. We will produce energy again, a clean energy, without CO2 emissions. Besides the clean energy that Dambovita County will benefit from, a power plant in the locality means social-economic development – new jobs, direct and indirect, the development of the local economy and infrastructure. We have the opportunity to give the start and build an exemplary power plant together.”, said Ștefan Corneliu, President of the Dambovita County Council.
Following the agreement to advance NuScale’s SMR technology deployment in Romania, Romania has the potential to accommodate the first deployment of small modular reactors in Europe and to become a catalyst for SMRs deployment in the region, especially in other Three Seas Initiative countries seeking to strengthen their energy security with a safe, stable, affordable and clean energy source and meet their decarbonation targets in the same time. Being among the first countries to join the quest of energy independence with one of the most advanced nuclear energy technologies, NuScale innovative SMR, Romania will gain a leading position and multiple social-economic benefits: it has the potential to become a base for supporting production and assembly of SMR components, and a hub for preparation and training of future operators and specialists. In this respect, Romania will develop the first full-scope simulator for the command room of a NuScale SMR in Europe, to be used for the training of the new generation of engineers.
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Background information regarding U.S.- Romania Partnerships
On March 2019, Nuclearelectrica and NuScale signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to evaluate the development, licensing and construction of a NuScale SMR in Romania.
On October 9th, 2020, Romania signed with U.S. an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) in the field of Nuclear Energy Projects, which was ratified as well by the Romanian Parliament, throughout the Law no.199/2021, having a wide support and being adopted with majority of votes.
Also, in October 2020, US Exim Bank expressed, through a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding), with the Ministry of Energy, the interest to finance large investment projects in Romania, including nuclear ones, with a total amount of 7 billion of dollars.
In early 2021, Nuclearelectrica received $1.2 million in USTDA grants to assess potential sites for small modular reactors.
On November 4th, 2021, at COP26, NuScale and Nuclearelectrica signed a teaming agreement to advance the deployment of the first small modular reactor in Europe.
These milestones follow a strong relation in nuclear field between Romania and U.S., which started in 1981 when President Reagan approved the first US Exim loan for the Cernavoda Unit 1 project.
Background information about NuScale SMR technology
In August 2020, NuScale made history as the first and only SMR to receive design approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission– a crucial step towards the construction and deployment of this SMR technology. The company maintains strong program momentum toward commercialization of its SMR technology, including supply chain development, standard plant design, planning of plant delivery activities, and startup and commissioning plans. NuScale has already signed contracts with Doosan, Samsung and GS Energy Corporation to advance the development of SMR components.
Memoranda of cooperation with companies from various countries have already been signed, such as: KGHM and PBE, Poland; Energy Holding, Bulgaria; OPG, Prodigy Clean Energy, BWXT, Canada; CEZ, Czech Republic etc. A six-module SMR NuScale project is under development in Utah, USA.
Bank of Japan’s entry into International Cooperation (JBIC) with a $ 110 million strategic investment in NuScale Power shares proves international interest and confirms the strong trust in the NuScale SMR technology.
The National Company “Nuclearelectrica” S.A. is the national Romanian company producing electricity, heat and nuclear fuel, which operates under the authority of the Romanian Ministry of Energy, the state holding 82.49% of shares and other shareholders, 17.50%, after the listing of the company on the stock exchange in 2013.
Cernavoda NPP Branch operates two CANDU nuclear units, which are two of the most performant units among more than 400 nuclear power plants in the world, a nuclear fuel factory and is in the process of achieving an integrated fuel cycle by acquiring an uranium concentrate processing line to support the company’s long-term investment projects.
Nuclearelectrica has a major role at the national level, contributing over 18% of nuclear energy in total energy production and 33% in total CO2-free energy production in Romania.
About NuScale Power
NuScale Power has developed a new modular light water reactor nuclear power plant to supply energy for electrical generation, district heating, desalination, hydrogen production and other process heat applications. This groundbreaking small modular reactor (SMR) design features a fully factory-fabricated NuScale Power Module™ capable of generating 77 MW of electricity using a safer, smaller, and scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology. NuScale’s scalable design—power plants that can house up to four, six, or twelve individual power modules—offers the benefits of carbon-free energy and reduces the financial commitments associated with gigawatt-sized nuclear facilities. The majority investor in NuScale is Fluor Corporation, a global engineering, procurement, and construction company with a 70-year history in commercial nuclear power.
NuScale is headquartered in Portland, OR and has offices in Corvallis, OR; Rockville, MD; Charlotte, NC; Richland, WA; and London, UK. Follow us on Twitter: @NuScale_Power, Facebook: NuScale Power, LLC, LinkedIn: NuScale-Power, and Instagram: nuscale_power. Visit NuScale Power’s website.