European premiere in nuclear energy: Washington and Bucharest will sign agreement for the placement of 12 small modular reactors in Romania

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By Constantin Radut
Unexpectedly, the American efforts to eliminate Chinese competitors in the nuclear energy sector from the Romanian market seem to bear fruit. The memorandum between SN Nuclearelectrica and China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) began in 2015 and ended unilaterally in 2020 under pressure from the Trump administration. It continued under the Biden administration. With positive effects, as announced today.
The Minister of Energy, Virgil Popescu, showed that the agreement between Romania and the United States of America for the implementation in our country of small modular reactors (SMR) will be finalized on Thursday, November 4, 2021.
“US President Joe Biden and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will make an important announcement today for the future of energy in our country! Romania, in partnership with the US, will collaborate for the implementation of small modular reactors (SMR). The latest civilian nuclear technology in Europe will be in Romania. In addition to clean energy, this partnership will create tens of thousands of jobs in the US and Romania. Tomorrow (Wednesday – n. R.) I will leave to participate in COP26, and on Thursday, together with the American Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, we will finalize the agreement announced by the two heads of state. In August 2020, NuScale went down in history as the first and only SMR-type technology to receive approval to date from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission – a crucial step in building and implementing this SMR technology. ” Virgil Popescu on his Facebook page.
US and Romania will announce plans to build the first small modular reactors (SMR) in Romania, in partnership with NuScale Power, bringing the latest civilian nuclear technology to a critical part of Europe, according to a press release from the House White.
The partnership will bring SMR technology to Romania, positioning US technology as a leader in the global race for SMR implementation. The trade agreement will include a 12-module NuScale plant, which will initially create more than 6,000 jobs in the US and Romania, with the potential to create 30,000 jobs in the US and Romania as the project grows.
Nuclearelectrica, the operator of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant, announced in March 2019 that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the American company NuScale Power in order to exchange technical and economic information on the innovative nuclear technology developed by NuScale. The purpose of this memorandum is to evaluate the development, authorization and construction of SMR as a potential long-term solution for Romania.
The US Agency for Trade and Development (USTDA) and Nuclearelectrica SA announced in January 2020 that the USTDA would provide a $ 1.27 million grant to fund the cost of technical assistance to identify and implement a preliminary assessments of potential nuclear sites compatible with SMR technologies in Romania.
The American company NuScale is developing a nuclear power plant based on modular reactors with light water to supply electricity, thermal energy, desalination.
The innovative small modular reactor (SMR) project is based on a fully modular construction manufactured by NuScale capable of generating 60 MW of electricity using a safe, small and scalable version of pressurized water reactor technology. The scalable project of NuScale assumes that a nuclear power plant can accommodate up to 12 such individual modules, which offers the benefits of a carbon-free technology and reduces the financial commitments associated with a nuclear power plant with a capacity of about gigawatts.
SMRs have another advantage, namely the location, they can be placed in places where a classic high-capacity nuclear power plant can not operate.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave its final approval for the NuScale SMR project at the end of August last year. “This is an important milestone not only for NuScale, but for the entire US nuclear industry and other advanced nuclear technologies that will follow,” said John Hopkins, President and CEO of NuScale.
NuScale said it “will continue to maintain this strong momentum of the SMR technology marketing program, including supply chain development, central standard design, delivery planning and start-up and commissioning plans.”

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