Romanian nuclear energy producer Nuclearelectrica signed a teaming agreement with the US nuclear technology company NuScale Power to deploy the first small modular reactor (SMR) in Romania, enabling the country to accommodate the first SMRs in Europe.
Under the Integrated National Plan in the field of Energy and Climate Change (PNIESC), Romania plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 55 per cent until 2030 and cut its import dependency from 20.8 per cent today to 17.8per cent by 2030.
“Nuclear energy has an essential role in achieving these decarbonisation targets and ensuring the energy transition to a carbon-free economy, currently contributing 33 per cent in total CO2-free energy production”, emphasised Virgil Popescu, Minister of Energy of Romania.
According to him “building and operating small modular reactors will have proven environmental benefits of clean, emissions-free energy, bringing direct socio-economic benefits to the community it serves and generating continued prosperity for the regional industry and economy”.
Cosmin Ghita, Chief Executive Officer of Nuclearelectrica pointed out that developing Europe’s first SMRs “will form a new generation of engineers, which will benefit from the 25 years of experience Nuclearelectrica has and the groundbreaking innovation of NuScale’s SMR technology”.
Under the partnership agreement, NuScale will help Nuclearelectrica evaluate its technology, and together, the organizations will take steps toward deploying a first NuScale 6-module, 462 megawatts-equivalent (MWe) power plant in Romania by 2027-2028.
The NuScale 6-module power plant is estimated to generate 193 permanent power plant jobs, 1,500 construction jobs, 2,300 manufacturing jobs and help Romania save 4 million tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Small modular reactors (SMRs) are nuclear fission reactors that are smaller than conventional nuclear reactors. They are designed to be manufactured at a plant and transported to a site for installation. Modular reactors reduce on-site construction and increase containment efficiency. They are also claimed to enhance safety.
Photo: NuScale Twitter profile