The official launch of the NuScale Power Energy Exploration Center (E2 Center) at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, a European premiere
Bucharest, May 12th, 2023
SN Nuclearelectrica SA (SNN) and The University Politehnica of Bucharest announce the launch of the first NuScale Power Energy Exploration Center (E2 Center), hosting the control room simulator for NuScale’s VOYGRTM small modular reactor (SMR) power plant. The launch of the E2 Center within the Faculty of Energy Engineering of University Politehnica of Bucharest is a European premiere which reconfirms Romania’s leadership in nuclear energy sector and workforce development.
With 26 years experience in the safe operation of nuclear power plants, at one of the highest capacity factors in the world, having an experienced industry regulator – CNCAN (National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control), one of the most appreciated engineering school system in Europe and a chain of industry suppliers ready to contribute to the development of Romanian nuclear programmes, Romania has the capabilities and assets to become a leader in the safe implementation of SMRs in Romania and in Europe, and a center for small modular reactors (SMR) education and training in the region.
Moreover, the E2 Center contributes to Romania’s objectives for energy security and decarbonization, through clean energy, whilst driving regional collaboration, and sharing its expertise in the nuclear sector as a way forward to mutually achieve climate change goals with nuclear energy and especially small modular reactors power plants.
“It’s a great time to be a student! And even a greater time to be an engineering student in Romania today. We are offering a large spectrum of opportunities to students to develop an exciting carrier in nuclear energy sector; we are growing a new generation of nuclear specialists; we offer students access to the latest technology and capabilities, such as the E2 Center launched today, scolarships and trainings. Today’s generation is the generation that will operate both CANDU and SMRs – what an exciting time for learning and for continuous improvement. Nuclearelectrica has outstanding specialists and operational performance, internationally recognized, which continue to position nuclear energy industry as a top national performer. The experience of Nuclearelectrica team is essential in the development of the Romanian nuclear program and I thank all my colleagues for their dedication and their contribution at maintaining Romania in the top of the industry worldwide. Launching today the E2 Center is only the beginning of a new advanced era in technology and human resources.” – Cosmin Ghita, Chief Executive Officer Nuclearelectrica.
“I am very glad to be here in this moment when we launch the Energy Exploration Center (E2 Centre) here in Romania. First in Europe. It’s a big step! Nuclear energy and SMRs are included in Romania’s energy strategy as a main pillar for energy security and reaching our decarbonation targets. Our commitment to increase energy production from clean nuclear energy sources will create much needed complementarity with renewable resources, increase flexibility in the system and allow further complex development of former coal-based facilities. We chose a technology with 60 years global operating history, more than 300 light-water reactors worldwide currently in production, which are the basis of the up-to-date highly advanced NuScale SMR technology. The 26 years of Romanian safe operation expertise are the basis for further developing Romania’s nuclear energy program. The energy transition is not possible without maintaining and expanding the role of nuclear power and it requires strong international partnerships, like the one we are enhancing today. I thank our American partners for their continuos support, Nuclearelectrica for its leadership in the industry and capability to take on the journey to become a regional preferred operator and University of Politehnica for their dedication towards performance and workforce development. I want to give a clear message: The romanian prim minister Nicolae Ciuca, our Government, and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis strongly support the development of nuclear energy and the effort to form experts in this domain”- Virgil Popescu, Minister of Energy.
“The United States welcomes this important step on Romania’s path to increased energy security and independence through safe and secure deployment of a small modular reactor, while also becoming an educational and training hub for the region.
The SMR project at Doicesti, which this E2 Center supports, will showcase Romanian leadership in energy innovation, accelerate the clean energy transition, create thousands of jobs in Romania and the U.S., and strengthen European energy security while upholding the highest standards for nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation.”, Ann Ganzer the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
“NuScale’s SMR technology is the premier global clean energy solution and can help advance Romania’s position as a leader in the secure and safe deployment of SMRs,” said John Hopkins, NuScale President and Chief Executive Officer. “With the support of the DOS under the FIRST program, we are thrilled to hit another milestone in this remarkable collaboration among our countries and organizations. We look forward to supporting the next generation of clean energy leaders across the region and around the globe.”
„This project opens a whole new horizon for students who aspire to work in the energy sector. As always, our commitment is to provide the highest-quality education to our students and prepare them for successful careers – but the Energy Exploration Center we are launching within the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest adds a whole new dimension to their career potential. We have implemented innovative teaching methodologies and cutting-edge research practices to offer our students access to an emerging energy sector where highly qualified professionals will be in high demand. The center will provide our students with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in a constantly evolving job market.
We thank our partners for the trust and dedication they are investing in the future of Romanian engineers. I am confident that our shared and continued commitment to excellence and innovation will lead to many more achievements and successes in the years to come” stated Mihnea Costoiu, Rector of the University Politehnica of Bucharest.
The E2 Center was developed as part of the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) programme, a US Government initiative. It builds on the Intergovernmental Agreement between the US and Romania for cooperation on Romania’s nuclear energy program (IGA) signed in December 2020, consolidating a decades-long relationship regarding the progress of the nuclear energy sector, which started in 1968.
The installation of the first E2 Center in Europe at the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest, is a first step for the preparation of the future generations of engineers which will play a significant role in the strategic project for deploying the first SMR power plant in Romania, which will advance the actions to protect the environment, energy security and access to clean affordable energy across Romania and Europe.
“We have proudly embarked on the road to reenergize Romania by expanding its clean energy capacities through both large and small scale reactors this decade. Based on Romania’s energy strategy and Romania’s future energy needs we are developing strategic projects that support Romania’s energy security, reaching decarbonization goals, whilst also developing the nuclear energy industy suppliers and the workforce. Our projects not only will continue to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy to consumers, but also will position Romania as a strong energy leader in the region.” – Cosmin Ghita, Chief Executive Officer Nuclearelectrica.
Romania, through the RoPower project company, founded by Nuclearelectrica and Nova Power & Gas, is the first country in Europe and seond after U.S. which is taking the first steps towards the implementation in this decade of the first NuScale VOYGR power plant with 6 modules and an installed power of 462 MWe. It is estimated that the NuScale power plant with 6 modules will generate approx. 200 permanent jobs, 1.500 jobs in construction, 2.300 jobs in production and will help Romania to avoid the production of 4 million tons of CO2 emissions per year.
In December 2022, RoPower and NuScale signed the contract for Phase 1 of Front-End Engineering and Design Work for First SMR in Romania, which includes environmental impact assessment and subsurface geotechnical investigation, the evaluation of the preferred site, the former thermal plant of Doicesti, and the development of a project-specific cost estimate.
The E2 Center is installed at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, within the Faculty of Power Engineering, one of the elite schools of the Romanian higher education. The school was established in 1950, and offers highly appreciated academic studies and programs for more than 2,000 students a year. The Center benefits from the strong partnership with the experienced Nuclearelectrica, which has safely operated for two of the most performant classic reactors in the world more than 26 years, and RoPower, the project company for SMR deployment in Romania.
The National Company “Nuclearelectrica” SA is the national Romanian company which produces electricity, heat and nuclear fuel operating under the authority of the Romanian Ministry of Energy, with the Romanian state holding 82.49% of shares and other shareholders holding 17.50%, after the listing of the company at the stock exchange in 2013.
SNN operates through Cernavoda NPP two CANDU nuclear units, which are two of the most high-performance units among the more than 400 nuclear plants in the world, a nuclear fuel factory and it has completed integrated fuel cycle through the procurement of a uranium concentrate processing line, in order to support the long-term investment projects of the company.
Nuclearelectrica has a major role at the national level, contributing by more than 18% of the nuclear energy in the total energy production and by 33% in the total CO2-free energy production in Romania.
About Faculty of Energy Engineering
The Faculty of Energy Engineering from the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest is the largest academic institution for energy engineering education in the country, with a history of over 70 years. It is actively involved in the changes taking place in the energy field – through the teaching staff, the connection with society, energy sector, and with relevant companies, but also through the research carried out in the faculty and through the education and training offered to the students.
The Faculty of Energy Engineering has adapted and transformed itself permanently to face social, economic and technological challenges.
Thus, if in 1950 when the faculty came into being, there were three BSc. specializations – Power Engineering, Hydropower Engineering and Thermal Power Engineering, today it is the only specialized faculty in the country, which prepares graduates for all specializations in the field of energy engineering. The educational offer includes seven specializations oriented to energy production, transport, distribution and utilization, but also to the digital transformation of the energy industry and the impact on the environment.
Starting from 1967, the Faculty of Energy Engineeringprepares engineers in the nuclear engineering specialization.
Master’s programs and doctoral studies in the field of energy engineering complete the training of energy engineers.