- REFURBISHMENT PROJECT OF UNIT 1 CERNAVODĂ NPP
|BACKGROUND||Refurbishment of Unit 1 means another 30 years of operation after the year 2029, at less than half the cost of a new nuclear reactor. Concretely, this means another 30 years without CO2 emissions. In terms of costs, and implicitly of the subsequent impact on the market, a NEA-OECD study confirms that the extension of the lifecycle of nuclear units incurs the lower cost out of all sources, including CO2 renewable sources (USD 35) compared to wind power (USD 50) and solar power (USD 94).|
|DESCRIPTION||CANDU reactors have an initial lifecycle of 30 years. Following a refurbishment process, this lifecycle may be extended by another 30 years, which Nuclearelectrica is doing at present within Unit 1, which was put into commercial operation in 1996. Unit 2 was put into operation in 2007, therefore, we can discuss about the refurbishment of Unit 2 at the level of year 2037.|
|IMPLEMENTATION STAGES||Phase 1 of the Unit 1 Refurbishment commenced in 2017 and was intended to the identification and definition of the activities needed for U1 refurbishment, so that it operates another 30-year life cycle. The final output of this phase was preparation of the Feasibility Study, approved in the GMS held on 23 February 2022, at an estimated cost of the investment amounting to EUR 1.85 million.
Phase 2 of the project has started after approval of the feasibility study, and covers provision of financial resources for the U1 Refurbishment Project, the preparation of the execution of the activities identified and defined for the refurbishment of U1 in Phase I and obtaining all the approvals and clearances required for the development of this project.
Phase 3 of the project starts upon shutdown of Unit 1 and consists in the effective development of the works within U1 Refurbishment Project in the unit plants, as well as its return to operation, for the purpose of commercial operation for a new operating cycle of 30 years, following year 2029.
|ESTIMATED COST||EUR 1.85 billion, without taking into account the financing costs and the adjustment to inflation on the date when the contract for the refurbishment of Cernavodă NPP Unit 1 will be signed.|
|FUNDING STRUCTURE||TBD in phase 2|
|SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EFFECTS||30 years of operation starting from 2029
Hundreds of new jobs
Contributions in economy
|TONS OF CO2 AVOIDED||5 million tons of CO2 every year|
THE PROJECT OF UNITS 3 AND 4 WITHIN CERNAVODA NPP
|BACKGROUN||The Project of CANDU Units 3 and 4 within Cernavoda NPP is set out in the Energy Strategy Project for Romania 2019-2030 with perspective of 2050, as well as in the Integrated National Energy and Climate Change Plan, as a pillar of Romania’s energy independence, and of fulfilling all the decarbonization targets undertaken by Romania as a EU Member State.
The intent of the Romanian State and of SNN, in compliance with the new strategy, is to perform such project of ~2×700 MWe in an Euro Atlantic consortium according to the Agreement of the Romanian Government and of the Government of the United States of America regarding cooperation in relation to the nuclear and energetic projects from Cernavoda and in the civil nuclear energy field from Romania, initialled in October 2020 at Washington DC by the USA and Romanian governments, subsequently approved by EC and ratified by the Romanian Parliament in July 2021. Moreover, there is the USA interest, through the agency of US Exim, in financing the Romanian nuclear projects with USD 7 billion.
Romania needs new electricity production capabilities as a solution for the transition to an economy with low carbon emissions, while providing simultaneously stability, safety, availability in SEN, as well as social and economic benefits. The Units 3 and 4 project from Cernavoda NPP has all pre-requisites to supply all these benefits.
With the implementation of the project, the contribution of nuclear power in the total energy production, at national level, will be of 36 %, and the contribution of nuclear power in the total energy production without CO2 emissions of 66 %, at the same time with the development of the internal supply chain, and other collateral industries.
The Romanian nuclear industry has the expertise and capability to participate with significant works and services in the new project from Cernavoda, and this expertise has been acquired since the commissioning and ensuring the maintenance of the first two nuclear units.
|DESCRIPTION||Construction of 2 more CANDU 6 units on the site of the Cernavoda NPP|
|CAPACITY||700 MW/Unit; 1400 MW/2 units|
|IMPLEMENTATION STAGES||Phase 1, namely, the current one, represents the preparatory phase, which was initiated by capitalization and operationalization of the project company, Energonuclear S.A. This phase shall have a 24-month duration, during which technical, legal and financial assistance services will be contracted, as well as engineering services for updating the technical Specification for the procurement, launch and award of the IPC contract (Engineer, Procurement and Constructions) and the conduct of studies and assessments needed for the substantiation of a preliminary decision regarding the achievement of the investment.
On 25 November 2021, Energonuclear S.A., the project company, signed the first agreement with Candu Energy, Member of SNC-Lavalin Group and the Design Authority of Units 3&4 and OEM Candu (the Original Manufacturer of Candu Technology). Within the agreement, CANDU Energy will provide engineering services for the preparation and update of certain documentation necessary for the initiation of the Project of Units CANDU 3&4 (among which, updating the basic licensing documents, updating of the nuclear security guidelines, updating of the list of the project amendments with nuclear security functions etc.).
The second stage of the project (Preliminary Works) consists in the performance of preliminary works from Phase 1 of the IPC contract (Engineer, Procurement and Constructions) and will have a duration of 18-24 months. During this stage, engineering and analysis works of the markets regarding the suppliers of equipment and services necessary for the project implementation shall be conducted, so that at the end of this stage, the Project feasibility could be refined. Furthermore, during this stage, the documentation for obtaining the clearances and approvals including from the European Commission shall be submitted, according to Article 41 of the Euroatom Treaty. At the end of this stage, the project feasibility shall be reexamined based on the new technical and economic indicators and the Final Investment Decision shall be made, which shall allow the Project to pass to Stage 3.
The third stage of the project actually consists in the performance of the works in the construction site, assembly and commissioning works, it being estimated to 69-78 months. It is estimated that Unit 3 shall be put into operation in 2030, following the commissioning of Unit 4 in 2031
Law approving the signature of the Support Agreement between the Romanian State and Nuclearelectrica, for the purpose of developing the Cernavodă NPP Units 3 and 4 national strategic Project, was adopted on 14 March 2023
The approval of this draft law is necessary for the commencement of the activities related to Phase II of the Project, which should allow: the conclusion of the agreements for the preparation of the critical engineering necessary for updating the project, updating the Project budget, structuring and contracting financing and agreeing on an appropriate contractual architecture for implementation of the Project, obtaining the favourable Opinion of the European Commission further to the Project Notice according to Article 41 of the EURATOM Treaty and a positive decision in accordance with the relevant European provisions on State Aid, obtain the Nuclear Security Authorization for the Construction Phase and have the Final Investment Decision taken for advancement to Phase III (Construction).
The Support Agreement supposes the commitment of the Romanian state to take the necessary steps to have the Project financed, including by granting State Guarantees to the Project’s financers under the terms of any intergovernmental support agreements or memoranda, or outside such agreements; implementing the “Contracts for Difference”-type scheme and adopting the administrative and/or legislative measures required to ensure the fulfilment of the technical criteria provided for in the Complementary Delegated Act of the European Commission; the contribution being represented by the quantity of heavy water and uranium octoxide related to the first load of nuclear fuel, cooling water for the operation of those 2 nuclear units and the completion of the electricity transmission lines necessary for the connection to the National Energetic System and the evacuation of the electricity produced by those two nuclear units.
|ESTIMATED COST||EUR 7 billion
US Exim Bank announced the issue of two expressions of interest for financing the pre-project technical services provided by USA in relation to 3 and 4 Units from Cernavoda, developed by the subsidiary of National Company Nuclearelectrica S.A.
Based on the preliminary information presented, EXIM can consider extending a financing of up to USD 50,000,000.00 under US export contract for pre-project technical services, as part of the Engineering Multiplying Program (EMP), and of up to USD 3 billion under the US export contract for engineering and project management services for the contract for completion of Units 3 and 4 of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant.
|FUNDING STRUCTURE||TBD in phase 2|
|SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EFFECTS||66 % clean energy contribution
over 19,000 jobs
|TONS OF CO2 AVOIDED||5 million tons/unit/year
20 million tons/4 units/year
SMALL MODULAR REACTORS PROJECT
|BACKGROUND||Romania has the potential for using for the first time in Europe, the first small modular reactors and becoming a catalyst for SMR development in the region, as well as a basis for providing the operation of this new type of technology in other states. For this purpose, we will develop the first simulator for the control room of a modular reactor, which we will use for training the new generation of engineers.
Giving up old coal power plants within the entire EU, together with the unlikelihood to build new coal power plants, already causes changes in the base load energy generation and in the transport infrastructure. From the point of view of the energy produced, a NuScale power plant is similar to an existing coal power plant and can be built on the same site, being able to reuse the existing transport infrastructure, which makes it an idea solution for the replacement of a coal power plant.
This agreement follows a new MoU concluded in 2019 with NuScale and a grant in amount of USD 1.2 million granted by USTDA SNN for the valuation of the prospective sites.
Romania has over 26 years of experience in the operation of one of the most performing world’s power plants under safety conditions and a team of professional engineers, a local school of engineers which well known worldwide and a large supply chain.
Approximately 70 concepts of SMR reactors are developing in different stages, with technological differences, a different level of implementation, as well as different levels of licensing, which shows the interest and innovation in the respective field and the endeavours of the regulation agencies to license the SMR reactor. Countries such as France, UK, Poland, Bulgaria, USA, Canada take accelerated steps to implement SMRs. However, NuScale is the first SMR reactor which received the design approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (NRC) and shall follow all necessary steps to obtain the license in EU and in those countries interested in its implementation.
|DESCRIPTION||Small modular reactors (SMR) are advanced nuclear reactors having an installed capacity of maximum 300 Mwe/ reactor, which means approximately one third of the capacity of a gigawatt reactor. A NuScale small modular reactor has an installed capacity of 77 Mwe and may be used in power plants of 4, 6 or 12 modules depending on necessities.
According to the Agreement concluded between SNN and NuScale, NuScale shall support Nuclearelectrica in the assessment of such technology and, together, those two companies shall adopt the measures needed for the development of small modular reactors in Romania.
|CAPACITY||6 modules with an installed capacity de 462 Mwe|
|IMPLEMENTATION STAGES||NuScale and Nuclearelectrica announced the location of the first small modular reactor (SMR) in Romania – on the site of the former thermal power plant in Doicesti, Dambovita county.
Nuclearelectrica, NuScale and E-Infra signed a Memorandum of Understanding to analyse the development of the first small modular reactor (SMR) in Romania on the site of the former thermal power plant in Doicesti, Dambovita county, on 24 May 2022.
Following the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”), the companies will carry out engineering studies, technical analyses and licensing and authorization activities on the site in Doicesti, Dambovita county, the location selected for the implementation of the first NuScale VOYGR™ plant.
The site was identified following a thorough study carried out with funds in amount of USD 1.2 million received by Nuclearelectrica at the beginning of 2021, within a grant provided by USTDA funds to identify and assess potential sites for implementing small modular reactors in Romania.
Following such study, several potential suitable site were identified. The site of the former Doicesti power station obtained all qualifications regarding security, and it corresponds to the design criteria and security principles of NuScale small modular reactors, and fully complies with the layout criteria required by the international and national standards. Furthermore, the site is available in due time for the achievement of Romania’s goals for the implementation of the small modular reactors in this decade and for allowing Romania to become a hub for the implementation of the small modular reactors in this area.
SMR technology of NuScale which is the most mature as regards approvals, since it is the first and the only SMR technology worldwide which received the approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in August 2020, has, at the same time, the most progressive implementation plans, based on agreements already acknowledged for the development of its components.
The choice of the site is the first important step for Romania within the approach for the implementation of small modular reactors, three years after the first Memorandum of Understanding with NuScale, in which Nuclearelectrica examined its technology, safety, maturity and availability for the purpose of implementing and achieving the goals of Romania as regards energy security and decarbonization.
· In March 2019, Nuclearelectrica and NuScale signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to assess the development, authorization and construction of a small modular reactor (SMR) in Romania.
|ESTIMATED COST||TBD following the preliminary stage of the project set up|
|FUNDING STRUCTURE||TBD following the preliminary stage of the project set up|
|SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EFFECTS||A NuScale power plant with 6 modules will generate 193 permanent jobs, 1,500 jobs during the construction period, 2,300 jobs in manufacturing.|
|TONS OF CO2 AVOIDED||4 million tons of CO2 every year|
PROJECT FOR THE TRITIUM REMOVAL FACILITY
|BACKGROUND||The project is part of the SNN’s portfolio of initiatives aimed at the consistent implementation of the general policy of the Company, namely the concern for maintaining nuclear security at the highest standards, and reducing both radiological risks for own staff and the public, as well as the environmental impact. The project represents a materialization at the highest level of the continuous concerns to improve the performance of the Cernavoda NPP with a positive impact on the staff and leading to a decrease in tritium discharges in the air and in the water, with a positive impact on the protection of the population and the environment.|
|DESCRIPTION||The implementation of the project will allow, by extracting the tritium from the heavy water, and storing it under a safe form in a dedicated facility, the elimination of heavy tritiated water from the category of radioactive waste, thus significantly reducing the quantity of radioactive waste left to be managed at the end of the operational life of the two reactors.
The project is based on an implementation strategy, updated by SNN in 2018, based on the Feasibility Study, approved under Resolution no. 9/22.08.2018 of the Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders.
The project involves the completion of the installation design (detailed design), the construction of the tritium removal plant, the tests and inspections for the purpose of its commissioning, a trial operation period of 6 months, followed by the putting of the plant into commercial operation, planned for the year 2027.
|IMPLEMENTATION STAGES||· Award of the execution contract (EPC) – 2023
· Obtaining the permits and commencement of the construction and assembly works – 2023
· Commissioning of the plant – 2025
· Trial operation – 2026
· Transfer upon operation – 2027.
|ESTIMATED COST||254 million EURO*|
|ENVIRONMENT EFFECTS||The project is environmentally friendly and is a concrete expression of the Cernavoda NPP’s continuous concern to improve environmental performance, ensuring a reduction of tritium discharges in effluents, resulting in a positive impact on the protection of the population and the environment.
The extraction of tritium from heavy water will contribute to the reduction of possible tritium discharges and will allow heavy water to be reused indefinitely without becoming radioactive waste. Tritium recovered from the coolant and moderator will be processed and stored in safe conditions for future use. In addition, the waste facility will have a positive impact on:
– reducing the risks of generating radioactive effluents and tritium emissions into the environment
– minimisation of tritium concentrations in radioactive waste generated within the nuclear systems using heavy water at the Cernavoda NPP.
*GMS approval is required prior to signing the contract.
PROJECT OF THE INTEGRATED FUEL CYCLE
|BACKGROUND||The shareholders of SNN approved by GMS Resolution No. 5/25.04.2018, the “Strategy for diversifying sources of raw material supply needed to produce nuclear fuel”, and implicitly, the gradual transition from the purchase of uranium dioxide (UO2) to the purchase of uranium technical concentrate (U3O8), the measures also including the identification of a solution to ensure the processing/refining capacity of the uranium technical concentrate (U3O8), i.e., the raw material from which the sintering uranium dioxide powder (UO2), necessary for the manufacture of nuclear fuel bundles, is obtained. Through specific studies and optimal conditions for the purchase of uranium technical concentrate, SNN considered processing it at the Feldioara Factory with the uranium technical concentrate processing line being taken over by SNN from CNU.|
|DESCRIPTION||Nuclearelectrica S.A. (“SNN”) completed the takeover of the uranium concentrate processing line from Compania Nationala a Uraniului SA (“CNU”), Feldioara Branch, on 28 December 2022.
Further to the due diligence conducted, SNN identified the necessary assets due to be strategically integrated into its structure; thus, by completing this transaction, SNN integrated the entire manufacturing cycle of CANDU nuclear fuel.
The priority for SNN is to permanently ensure all the conditions and the full fulfilment of the nuclear security functions in the operation and production processes of SNN, whether we are talking about fuel bundles, or energy production. On the other hand, being the only state in the European Union which operates nuclear units of CANDU type and which also holds facilities for manufacturing CANDU nuclear fuel to this end, we consider the maintenance of the integrated cycle of nuclear fuel, in accordance with the Romanian strategy regarding the maintenance of the integrated nuclear cycle. Thus, taking over the processing line of the technical uranium concentrate (E plant) by SNN from CNU and obtaining, within SNN, uranium dioxide, which shall be used by NFP Pitesti Branch (of SNN) to manufacture nuclear fuel shall contribute to maintaining the integrated nuclear cycle.
|IMPLEMENTATION STAGES||The transaction covers only a few assets (land, buildings, special structures, planta/installations, machinery and equipment).
The takeover of assets from Feldioara Branch was a two-stage process: Contract signing date, which occurred, according to the current report of SNN, on 18 March 2021, and Completion Date on 28 December 2022. Between the two stages, a number of prerequisites were provided, agreed upon and met for transaction closure. Thus, on the signing date, the general terms and conditions of the transaction were agreed and the prerequisites were set, and on the closure date, the sale and purchase contract was signed in authentic form based on the heads of terms set on the signing date.
The preliminary conditions mainly envisage the service and issue by the relevant authorities, of the necessary transfer authorizations, permits, clearances, as well as the CNU clarification in relation to certain issues related to ensuring the transfer of assets.
|EFFECTS||The strategic decision to acquire part of Feldioara’s assets necessary for the processing of the raw material was aimed at ensuring integrated production capabilities within SNN and, to an equal extent, ensuring the production of fuel bundles and the optimal operation of NFP Pitesti and Cernavoda NPP, in the context of expanding the capacity of the nuclear power plant, and maintaining the nuclear fuel cycle at national level, at an advantageous transaction cost, as well as reducing the reliance on a single supplier.