The refurbishment of Unit 1 means another 30 years of operation after 2029, at less than half the costs of a new nuclear reactor. Concretely, it means another 30 years of clean energy, without CO2 emissions.
In terms of costs, and implicitly of the subsequent impact on the market, a NEA-OECD study confirms that the energy produced by extending the lifecycle of nuclear units incurs the lowest cost of all sources, including renewable sources:
Cost of energy:
from a refurbished nuclear power plant: USD 32/MWh
– from wind sources: USD 50/MWh
– from solar panel parks: USD 94/MWh
Cf.: Report on electricity costs, issued in 2020 by the International Energy Agency, in collaboration with the Nuclear Energy Agency.
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 currently doing with Unit 1, which was commercially started up in 1996.
Unit 2 was started up in 2007, so we can talk about the refurbishment of Unit 2 in 2037.
Unit 1 of Cernavoda NPP
- has delivered 127 million MWh so far, accounting for 9 % of the national consumption in 25 years.
- has avoided the atmospheric release of 125 million tons of CO2, which represents the equivalent of the emissions generated by all the cars in Romania in over 6 years.
- 5 million tones of CO2 avoided each year
STAGES OF IMPLEMENTATION
Phase 1 for the Refurbishment of Unit 1 started in 2017, and was dedicated to identifying and defining the activities necessary for the refurbishment of U1, so that it would operate for another lifecycle of 30 years. The final product of this phase was the drafting of the Feasibility Study, approved in the GMS dated February 23, 2022, with the estimated cost of investment being EUR 1.85 billion.
Phase 2 of the project started upon the approval of the feasibility study and involves ensuring the financial resources for the implementation of the Project for the Refurbishment of U1, preparing the performance of the activities that have been identified and defined for the refurbishment of U1 in Phase 1 and obtaining all the necessary approvals and authorizations for the implementation of this project.
Phase 3 of the project starts upon the shutdown of Unit 1, in the period 2027-2029, and consists of the actual performance of the works in the Project for the Refurbishment of U1, in the installations of the unit, as well as its restart, in order to be commercially operated for a new lifecycle of 30 years, after 2029.
EUR 1.85 billion, without taking into account the financing costs and the update with the inflation rate on the date when the refurbishment contract of Unit 1 of Cernavoda NPP is going to be signed.
The financing structure shall be decided in stage 2 of the project.
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EFFECTS
30 years of operation starting with 2029
Approx. 5.5 mil MWh clean energy, net delivered on an annual basis in the NES, at the lowest cost of all sources
Hundreds of new jobs
Contributions to the economy
TONS OF CO2 AVOIDED
5 million tons of CO2 avoided every year