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USTDA awards a 14 million US dollars grant for the development of small modular reactors in Romania

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant of 14 million US dollars to RoPower Nuclear (RoPower), the project company for the development of the small modular reactors recently established by Nuclearelectrica and Nova Power & Gas. The grant will be used for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) study to advance the development project of Romania’s first SMR nuclear power plant.

The preliminary study will include key project development elements such as a layout and plot plan for the site, a budget estimate and an environmental impact analysis execution plan. The FEED study builds on a recently completed 1.2 million US dollars USTDA study that identified suitable sites, technology options and a licensing roadmap for the SMR project.

“We are following through on a commitment that President Biden made during the launch of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment in June when he announced US government support for this important small modular reactor project in Romania,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director. “Multiple US government agencies and the US private sector are working in partnership with Romania to achieve its energy security and climate objectives. Together, we are advancing ambitious and consequential projects that are shaping a cleaner and more secure energy future for Eastern Europe and the world”.

“Through this new grant offered by USTDA, we are proud Romania is recognised as a trustworthy and experienced partner in deploying the first SMR in Europe,” said Cosmin Ghita, CEO of Nuclearelectrica. “We come with 26 years of experience in safe nuclear operations and more than 50 years of experience in nuclear industry development; we have an experienced regulator and a reliable supply chain, as well as a professional educational system in technology and engineering. We have all the assets and we stand ready with the United States, following our countries’ more than 50 years of partnership in the nuclear field, to deploy the most advanced civil nuclear technology and promote the benefits of nuclear energy as an affordable, clean, reliable and resilient source of energy.”

The first power plant based on the NuScale SMR design is expected to begin operation in the United States by the end of the decade. The USTDA-funded FEED study will facilitate the deployment of this design to Romania by focusing on its adaptation to site-specific requirements at the preferred site Doiceşti Power Station, which is the location of a former coal-fired power plant.

“NuScale is proud to have the continued support of the USTDA in bringing the clean, reliable benefits of a NuScale SMR to Romania,” said John Hopkins, NuScale Power President and Chief Executive Officer. “To have the US government’s support through FEED Phase 1 speaks to the role NuScale’s technology will play in strengthening Romania’s energy security and providing zero-carbon energy for generations to come. Moreover, it speaks to Romania’s track record in safe nuclear operations and the capability to successfully deploy our SMR technology.”

The SMR plant, which would also be the first in Europe, will advance Romania’s clean energy transition and energy security goals.

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