Nuclearelectrica & NuScale working meeting following the $14 million grant announced by President Biden for the development of small modular reactors (SMRs) in Romania
Bucharest, July 6, 2022
On July 6th 2022, Nuclearelectrica & NuScale organized a working meeting with the authorities in Dambovita County and Doicesti, following the announcement made by President Biden, the allocation of a grant of $14 million for the next stage of the development of NuScale small modular reactors in Romania – the Preliminary Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) study for the SMR project in Romania.
At the meeting participated: Cosmin Ghita, CEO of Nuclearelectrica, Dr. Dan Serbanescu, Nuclear Engineer Nuclearelectrica, Aleshia Duncan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Nuclear Energy Policy and Cooperation, Office of Nuclear Energy, US Department of Energy, Dr. Mike Goff, Senior Advisor, Office of Nuclear Energy, US Department of Energy, Dr. Billy Valderrama, Senior Advisor, Office of Nuclear Energy, US Department of Energy, John Hopkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, NuScale Power, Thomas Mundy, President, VOYGR™ Services and Delivery, NuScale Power, Dr. John Wagner, Laboratory Director, Idaho National Laboratory, as well as the authorities of Dambovita, Doicesti and the neighboring villages.
The working meeting objective was to present the local authorities with the NuScale technology features, its safety, and deployment stages, the status of the project in US, currently in developments in Idaho, and The Preliminary Front-End Engineering and Design study for the SMR project in Romania.
For the development of this study, Nuclearelectrica and NuScale will cooperate with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) in order to initiate a series of engineering and design activities and studies, as well further technical analyses of the potential site of Doicesti, which will provide Romania with essential data for the development of the first small modular reactor power plant in Romania. This information is essential to estimate costs, rigorously plan activities and define the project based on the national and international authorization and applicable regulatory requirements. Also, potential suppliers of services and manufacturing and assembling in Romania will be identified during this FEED stage.
“Following an in-depth study which analyzed multiple potential sites in Romania, the Doicesti site was selected, achieving all the qualifications in terms of safety, appropriate for NuScale’s design and the most advanced criteria and safety principles. Following the 14 mil dollars grant received from US Government, we will start the technical site analysis. Through the partnership with the United States, by choosing a technology that is already approved and validated by a regulatory agency with long term expertise, Romania also makes sure that its projects in the field of nuclear energy respects the highest standards of nuclear safety. Moreover, with over 25 years of experience in operating at the highest standards two nuclear units, Nuclearelectrica is proud to contribute with its expertise to the development of the first small modular reactors in Europe and to be an example to other countries interested in developing their civil nuclear programs.” ̶ Cosmin Ghiţă, CEO of Nuclearelectrica.
“NuScale’s SMR technology is second to-none in the areas of safety features, capabilities, and performance. Our technology has already undergone an intensive safety review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, resulting in design approval in August 2020, proving our strong safety case. And now, we are thrilled to showcase our solution to climate change in both the United States and Romania to support clean energy goals while protecting global prosperity, people and our planet.” – John Hopkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, NuScale Power
Through Nuclearelectrica, Romania takes the first steps in implementing, during this decade, the first 6-module 462 Mwe installed capacity NuScale power plant in Europe. It is estimated that this size NuScale power plant will generate approximately 200 permanent jobs, 1.500 jobs in construction, 2.300 jobs in production and will help Romania to avoid the generation of 4 million tons of CO2 per year.
“Like in the case of the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant, the first small modular reactors power plant will generate clean energy in the area where it will be build and strong economic growth for the local community by creating thousands of jobs, investments in infrastructure, growth of the chain of local suppliers, tax funds to the local budget and it will contribute to forming a new generation of specialists through investment in high-quality education.” ̶ Cosmin Ghiţă, CEO of Nuclearelectrica.
“The small modular reactors to be built in Romania will directly benefit from years of development in the United States (U.S.). By the end of this decade, the first NuScale small modular reactor (SMR) power plant will begin operation in Idaho, in the U.S. This project in the U.S. has completed several essential stages. The NuScale SMR in Idaho benefits from significant funding from the U.S. Government, consistent with the U.S. commitment to accelerate measures to provide energy security and a sustainable transition to clean energy sources.” – Dr. John Wagner, Laboratory Director, Idaho National Laboratory.
Chief Executive Officer
General information regarding the partnerships between the United States and Romania
- In March 2019, Nuclearelectrica and Nuscale signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to evaluate the development, licensing and construction of a small modular reactor (SMR) in Romania.
- On 9 October 2020, Romania signed with the United States an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) pertaining to the field of nuclear energy, which was also ratified by the Romanian Parliament, according to Law no.199/2021, having wide support and being adopted with a majority of votes.
- Moreover, in October 2020, US Exim Bank has expressed, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Energy, an interest to finance major investment projects in Romania, including nuclear ones, adding up to a total value of $7 billion.
- On 4 November 2021, at COP26, NuScale and Nuclearelectrica have signed a collaboration agreement to advance the implementation of the first small scale modular reactor in Europe.
- At the beginning of 2021, Nuclearelectrica has received funds $1.2 million from the USTDA to identify and evaluate the potential sites for the small modular reactors. In May 2022, after finalizing the study, several adequate potential sites were identified. The emplacement of the former thermal power plant at Doicești, Dambovita District, has obtained all the qualifications in regards to security and fully respects the emplacement criteria required by the international and national standards.
- On 24 May 2022, Nuclearelectrica, NuScale și E-Infra (the owner of the emplacement) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to analyze the development of the first small modular reactor (SMR) in Romania on the site of the former thermal power plant at Doicești, Dambovita District.
- In the Preliminary Stage of the Front-End Engineering and Design study for small modular reactors (SMRs) in Romania, a series of engineering and design activities and studies, technical analyses of the site, as well as licensing and authorization activities will be conducted on the site of the former power plant at Doicești, in compliance with all the international and national standards.
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 national level, contributing over 18% of nuclear energy in total energy production and 33% in total CO2-free energy production in Romania.