Romania has the potential of implementing small modular reactors, and becoming a catalyst for the development of SMR in the region, and also a base for ensuring 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.
In this regard, in November 2021, Nuclearelectrica and NuScale Power signed an agreement in order to advance the implementation of the innovative technology of the small modular reactors of NuScale, in Romania, in this decade.
This agreement follows a MoU concluded in 2019 with NuScale and a grant of 1.2 million dollars granted by USTDA to SNN for assessing potential sites.
Romania has over 25 years of experience in safely operating one of the highest-performing power plants in the world, and a team of professional engineers, a globally-renowned local school of engineers, and a vast supply chain.
Approximately 70 concepts of SMR reactors are in progress, in various stages, with technological differences, a different implementation level, as well as various licensing levels, which proves the interest and innovation in this field, and the efforts of regulatory agencies to license the SMR reactor. Countries such as France, UK, Poland, Bulgaria, USA and Canada are making intense efforts to implement SMRs. However, NuScale is the first SMR reactor which has received the design approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and will follow all the necessary steps for obtaining the license in EU and in the countries that are interested in implementing it.
Small modular reactors (SMRs) are advanced nuclear reactors that have an installed capacity of up to 300 Mwe/reactor, which means approximately a third of the capacity of a gigawatt reactor. A small modular reactor from NuScale has an installed capacity of 77 Mwe and can be used in plants of 4, 6 or 12 modules, as needed.
In virtue of the Agreement between SNN and NuScale, NuScale will support Nuclearelectrica in assessing this technology and, together, the two companies will take measures for developing the small nuclear reactors in Romania.
6 modules with an installed capacity of 462 Mwe
STAGES OF IMPLEMENTATION
Based on the analyses related to the implementation of a nuclear project, including site analyses, the implementation stages will be determined.
NuScale’s nuclear technology will mainly be developed on the sites of former coal-fired power plants. Thus, it will support the National Recovery and Resilience Plan of the Government of Romania to decommission 4.59 GWe of coal capacity by 2032.
In terms of the energy produced, a NuScale power plant is similar to an existing coal-fired power plant and can be built on the same site, and can reuse the existing transportation infrastructure, which makes it an ideal solution for replacing a coal-fired power plant.
Steps taken by Romania to deploy the SMRs:
– 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. More details: here
– 9 October 2020, Romania signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the United States of America in the field of nuclear energy, which was also ratified by the Romanian Parliament according to Law no. 199/2021, enjoying broad support and being adopted by a majority of votes. More details: here
– Moreover, in October 2020, US Exim Bank expressed, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Energy of Romania, its interest in financing major energy investment projects in Romania, including the nuclear field, with a total value of USD 7 billion. More details: here
– 4 November 2021, NuScale and Nuclearelectrica entered into a cooperation agreement during at COP26 (UN Conference on Climate Change) to advance implementation of the first small modular reactor in Europe, in the presence of the Romanian Minister of Energy, Mr. Virgil Popescu. The importance of the strategic partnership between the US and Romania and the role of SMRs were highlighted in their speeches delivered at COP26 by the US Secretary for Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, the US Secretary of the Department of Energy, the Special Envoy of the US President for Climate John Kerry, the President of Romania Klaus Iohannis, and the US President Joe Biden. More details: here
– At the beginning of 2021, Nuclearelectrica received USD 1.2 million from USTDA to identify and assess potential sites for small modular reactors. In May 2022, following the completion of the study, several potential suitable sites were identified. The site of the former thermal power plant of Doicești, County of Dâmbovița, Romania, was selected as a candidate site for further in-depth surveys and developments.
– 24 May 2022, Nuclearelectrica, NuScale and Nova Power & Gas (the owner of the site) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to analyse the development of the first small modular reactor (SMR) in Romania on the site of the former thermal power plant in Doicești, Dâmbovița county. More details: here
– 15 June 2022, Nuclearelectrica and E-Infra, together with Dâmbovița County Council and Doicești Municipality, held a local information conference with the theme “Development of the First Small Modular Reactor (SMR) NuScale on the Site of the Former Doicești Thermal Power Plant”.
– 27 June 2022, in the G7 Summit, the US President Joe Biden announced allocation of grant of USD 14 million for the next development stage of the Romanian NuScale small modular reactors – the preliminary Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) for the Romanian SMR project. FEED study consists in a series of engineering and design activities and studies, technical analyses of the site, as well as licensing and authorization activities to be carried out on the site of the former power plant from Doicești, in compliance with all international and national standards. More details: here
– 6 July 2022, Nuclearelectrica and NuScale held a working meeting with the authorities of the County of Dâmbovița, Doicești and the neighbouring localities, further to the announcement made by President Biden: allocation of grant of USD 14 million for the next development stage of the Romanian programme for development of small modular reactors by NuScale – the Preliminary Front-End Engineering Design for the Romanian SMR project. More details: here
– August 2022, Nuclearelectrica applied with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for performance of a SEED (Site and External Events Design) engagement to assess the process followed for selection of the first site for placement of a plant with small modular reactors, in Doicești, County of Dâmbovița, Romania. With a view to putting in place a very safe and robust SMR project in Romania, under the FEED survey, the IAEA recommendations stemming from the IAEA’s Site and External Events Design (SEED) engagement of August 2022, conducted at the request of Nuclearelectrica, shall be applied. More details: here
– 27 September 2022, Nuclearelectrica SA and Nova Power & Gas SRL launched RoPower Nuclear SA, the project company for development of small modular reactors in Romania, on the site of the former coal-fired power plant of Doicești, County of Dâmbovița. More details: here
-19-21 October 2022, Nuclearelectrica SA organized the event “Nuclear Energy Projects in Romania – Suppliers Days: Small Modular Reactors Project and Units 3 and 4 of Cernavodă Nuclear Power Plant”, with the aim of bringing together an important part of the companies producing equipment and providing services in this high-profile national industry, which can play an essential part in development of Romania’s strategic nuclear projects. More details: here
– 27 October 2022, the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) extended a grant of USD 14 million to RoPower Nuclear SA (RoPower), the project company recently established by Nuclearelectrica and Nova Power & Gas for development of small modular reactors. The grant shall be used for the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) in order to advance the project for the development of the first SMR nuclear plant in Romania. More details: here
– 15 November 2022, on the occasion of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), SMR special purpose vehicle of Nuclearelecrica (RoPower) and Donalam (part of AFV Beltrame Group) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for SMR implementation in Romania and joined the UN Coalition for 24/7 carbon-free energy. More details: here
– 4 January 2023, NuScale Power, LLC (NuScale) and the Romanian company RoPower Nuclear SA (RoPower), held in equal shares by S.N. Nuclearelectrica S.A. and Nova Power & Gas SA, signed the contract for the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) works, thus taking an important step towards implementation of the NuScale VOYGR™️ power plant with small modular reactors (SMRs) in Romania. The first stage of the FEED (Front-End Engineering and Design) survey, kicked-off in January 2023, consists of a number of initial engineering and design activities and studies, technical analyses on the site of the former power plant of Doicești, devising a tentative timetable, and estimating the specific costs of the Romanian project. More details: here
– 12 May 2023, SN Nuclearelectrica SA (SNN) and the Politehnica University of Bucharest launched the first NuScale Energy Exploration Center (E2 Center), which hosts the control room simulator for the plant equipped with VOYGRTM NuScale small modular reactors. The launch of the E2 Center in the Faculty of Energy of Politehnica University of Bucharest is a first of its kind across Europe, and reconfirms the leadership position of Romanian in nuclear energy industry and workforce development. More details: here
-20 May 2023, the US President Joe Biden made an announcement during the G7 Summit: the United States of America, together with public and private multinational partners from the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Arab Emirates, shall provide financing up to USD 275 million dollars for the Small Modular Reactors (SMR) Project in Romania, the amount that also includes a letter of interest from the US Export-Import Bank (EXIM) of up to USD 99 million, as part of the EXIM Engineering Multiplier program. Furthermore, the US Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) issued Letters of Interest for tentative provision of a financial support of up to USD 3 billion and, respectively, USD 1 billion for development of this project. The financial support announced in G7 shall be applied for completion of the FEED study (2nd stage), which consists of detailed site characterization activities, permitting, licensing and regulatory activities, devising the detailed timetable of the project, budget planning for project implementation, and preparation for acquisition of materials with a long manufacturing cycle. More details: here
-13 June 2023, Nuclearelectrica, NuScale Power, E-INFRA, Nova Power & Gas, Fluor Enterprises and Samsung C&T Corporation sign a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in the deployment of NuScale VOYGR™ Power Plants in Central and Eastern Europe and Romania. More details: here
-5 July 2023, DSPE to invest EUR 75 million in RoPower to develop the Doicesti SMR Power Plant in Romania. DS Private Equity (“DSPE”) signed the Term sheet Agreement with Nuclearelectrica and Nova Power & Gas (part of the E-Infra Group), the shareholders of RoPower, which is the project company developing the Doicesti SMR Power Plant in Romania, with the intention to invest 75 million Euro for the development of FEED 2 study. More details: here
It will be estimated following the preliminary stage of project configuration
It will be estimated following the preliminary stage of project configuration
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EFFECTS
A NuScale power plant with 6 modules will generate 193 permanent jobs, 1500 jobs during the construction period, 2300 jobs in manufacturing.
TONS OF CO2 AVOIDED
4 million tons of CO2 every year