Bucharest, November 9, 2023 – # rbj – All Romanians are saddened by the mega scam through which the public-private partnership from the beginning of the 2000s turned into a huge loss for the Romanian state and an equally huge benefit for the American company Bechtel. Taken by storm by the diplomatic representatives of the US from Bucharest due to the fact that post-Ceausescu Romania has no road infrastructure, i.e. highways, the governments of that time gave in and signed a mammoth contract with the famous company Bechtel for the construction of a highway of about 500 km, called Autostrada Transilvania. Millions of dollars flowed from Romania’s budget for all kinds of studies and geotechnical expertise that Bechtel did not carry out, but collected its money.
The ordeal of the highway seemed to never end. After 10 years, the Bucharest government decides to end the relationship with Bechtel. But legally. In order to accept the termination of the contract for the non-existent highway called “Transilvania”, the company requested and received compensation, as well as the payment of debts.
The Romanian state paid the Americans one billion euros, almost half of the initially established amount, although the Americans from Bechtel did only 10 percent of the work, i.e. 52 kilometers, which can be considered the most expensive piece of highway in Europe .
Now another mega-deal has hit Romania and Romanians. Our strategic partner, that is, the US, promised the Romanians the sea with salt, led by the country’s president. The Americans from NuScale, a young company from Portland, founded in 2007, made us dizzy.
The Americans, even Joe Biden, told us that NuScale Power is ready to meet the electricity needs with the latest technologies, namely with light, small reactors. NuScale is among the few companies that strive to develop the small modular reactors (SMRs). They want to build low-power chain reactor modules on relatively simple sites, but, put together, they give a power of about 500 MW. SMRs are light water reactors, designed to use less water than traditional reactors, and have a passive safety system that allows them to shut down automatically if something goes wrong.
Caught in this game, Romania signs declarations of support, MOUs, agreements, etc.
With an energy minister from Bucharest who is very enthusiastic, but without professionalism, with a young CEO from Nuclearelectrica, the Romanian company for the tutelage of the nuclear industry in Romania, the collaboration project is moving forward. Even the location is established, the American money is needed to move forward with the development of the technical project.
On September 27, 2022, Nuclearelectrica SA and Nova Power & Gas SRL launched RoPower Nuclear SA, the project company for the development of small modular reactors in Romania. Assurances are given that in 2028-2029 the first power station in Romania will be built with an installed power of 462 MW.
The total cost was estimated at $7-8 billion, about as much as it would cost to complete the other two CANDU type nuclear reactors at Cernavoda, started during the Ceausescu regime.
CANDU type reactors took second place.
Americans are the ones who are better!? The governors from Bucharest already saw the country full of small SMR plants. The others that still existed had to be destroyed, abolished.
Every month from 2022 and 2023, an American team, including one led by Mr. John Kary, was present in Bucharest for the Romanian-American “brotherhood” in the SMR field.
On November 9, 2023, the bomb drops: NuScale fails in its attempt to run the first SMR plant in the American state of Utah.
NuScale shares have already fallen 80% from a high of nearly $15 in August 2022 to around $2 yesterday.
“Too late, too expensive, too risky and too unsafe” is how a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) described NuScale’s proposed Small Modular Reactor (SMR) project.
How do you see the situation in Bucharest? With joy for some, with sadness for taxpayers.