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Romania’s Cernavoda NPP expansion project could enter new stage by the end of the year

Romania’s Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu met with the President of the US Exim Bank, Reta Jo Lewis, who reiterated their support for strategic investments in the development of the civil nuclear program in Romania.

“We discussed the support that Romania will receive for reactors 3 and 4 of the Cernavodă nuclear power plant,” said the Minister adding that he is convinced that by the end of this year, the financing stage of reactors 3 and 4 will be completed with the support of the US Exim Bank.

In October 2020, Romania and the United States agreed to cooperate on the construction of Units 3 and 4 and the refurbishment of Unit 1 at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant, the only nuclear power plant in Romania, which produces around 20 per cent of the country’s electricity.

The US Exim Bank offered an 8 billion US dollars (6.8 billion euros) financial package to the country for the nuclear units and other projects. The agreement would remain in force for a 30-year period and would be automatically extended for successive periods of 5 years.

The Cernavoda nuclear power plant has been in operation since 1996, with a total capacity of 1,400 megawatts (MW), the facility accounts for 6.9 per cent of Romania’s installed electricity capacity. Currently, the plant has two CANDU 6 reactors of 655 MW each in operation. The two new reactors are expected to become functional in 2030 and 2031, respectively.

The operator of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant, state-owned Nuclearelectrica said before that the two newly built units are expected to avoid the emission of approximately 10 million tons of CO2 per year, and 20 million tonnes after 2031. As a result of the investment, the contribution of nuclear energy to the total domestic energy production will increase to 36 per cent.

Last November, Nuclearelectrica announced the progress of the CANDU Cernavodă Units 3 and 4 Project, and during the preparatory stage, EnergoNuclear SA, the project company, signed the first contract with Candu Energy.

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