Bucharest, November 8, 2023 – # rbj (Source: Agerpres) – A Memorandum of Understanding for the development of small and modular fast lead-cooled reactors (SMR-LFR) was signed on Wednesday, after the meeting that the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis , had it with Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium.
“In the field of energy, I am glad that a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the technology of nuclear reactors with fast neutrons cooled with molten lead was concluded today between relevant institutions from Romania and Belgium, respectively three other institutions from Italy and the United States”, he declared President Klaus Iohannis in the framework of the joint statements made alongside Prime Minister De Croo.
The signatories active in the field of nuclear energy are: RATEN (Autonomous Regime of Technologies for Nuclear Energy – from Mioveni, Argeş), ANSALDO NUCLEARE S.P.A. (from Genoa, Italy) and ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development) – partners in the FALCON consortium, as well as SCK CEN (Centre for Nuclear Energy Studies – from Mol, Belgium) and WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY LLC (from the state of Delaware, USA) – two other players with experience in lead-cooled fast reactor technology (LFR / (Lead-cooled Fast Reactor) technology).
The signing of this document completes the economic and technical-scientific cooperation dimension of President Iohannis’ discussions with Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and His Majesty Philippe, King of the Belgians.
The head of the Romanian state emphasized that this collaboration is very beneficial, considering, among other things, that we are in a phase where it is complicated, sometimes even impossible, to do research only in one state, because the necessary resources are immense .
“No, research can no longer be done with very little money and with a handful of researchers. We need more and more resources. We need not only multinational, but also multidisciplinary teams to make real progress in the fields important, I could even say for humanity. We believe that in Romania the first small modular reactor from the first SMR can work in 2028 or 2029. It is not realistic to expect anything practical sooner, but considering the complexity of the technology we are talking about, I think it’s quite an ambitious framework. It is known that in the nuclear reactor area the research is complicated and I think an important element is the security of these reactors. And to guarantee very, very good security, the research will obviously have to last a little more. We are not talking about a simple transfer from military use to civilian use, because the demands are, as is easy to understand, different and the claims of security, feasibility, sustainability are specific to the field of civil energy”, said Iohannis.
According to an information from the Presidential Administration of Romania, based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed on November 8, 2023, the parties will be able to carry out a series of joint cooperation activities.
“At the same time, this document constitutes the basis for the negotiation of a future collaboration agreement with the aim of accelerating the development of this technology, to a level of maturity that will allow the commercialization of reactors with increased safety features, competitive from an economic point of view, and which will contribute to the transition to a clean energy system. The phased demonstration of LFR technology will require the construction and operation of experimental support facilities and demonstration reactors. The ALFRED (Advanced LFR European Demonstrator) demonstrator and the experimental infrastructure on the platform of the Nuclear Research Institute from Pitesti – Mioveni (with the ATHENA and CHEMLAB installations – under construction and four others under contract through the POCIDIF Program) represent key milestones taken into account within this MOU and the future partnership, thus placing Romania in the front line of nuclear technology developers the new generation”, the Presidential Administration also informed.
At the Belgian Center for Nuclear Research SCKCEN, Klaus Iohannis met with the Romanian researchers who work here and contribute to the development of safe nuclear technologies for energy, medical use and combating climate change.
“Important visit to the Belgian Center for Nuclear Research SCKCEN, a leader in European nuclear research. Pleased to meet the general director Peter Baeten and the Romanian researchers who work here, develop safe nuclear technologies for energy, medical use and combating climate change”, Iohannis sent, in a post on X (ex Twitter).
The head of the Romanian state paid an official visit to the Kingdom of Belgium on Wednesday.