Romanian state-run nuclear power company Nuclearelectrica has signed a memorandum of understanding with local and international partners on a project to install small modular reactors (SMR) in Romania and across the region.
The deal envisages the deployment of NuScale’s VOYGR SMR plants at the former coal-fired power plant in Doiceşti in Romania and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe. The VOYGR technology was developed by United States–based NuScale Power, one of the partners that signed the memorandum.
The SMR technology for the project was developed by US-based NuScale Power
The other signatories are Romanian companies E-Infra and Nova Power and Gas, Fluor Enterprises from the US, and Samsung C&T Corp. from South Korea, according to a press release from Nuclearelectrica.
The US plans to facilitate up to USD 275 million in financing for the small modular reactor that NuScale intends to install in Romania, according to a statement released during the recent G7 Leaders Summit in Hiroshima, Japan.
SMR is still an emerging technology, mostly applied in pilot projects, but the recent advances, combined with the impact of the energy crisis, have strengthened political support for a nuclear power revival in Europe.
Romania could become the first country to deploy SMR
Earlier this year, the government said Romania was on track to become the first country to deploy an SMR, describing it as “the newest, safest and cleanest nuclear technology.”
Following the signature of the memorandum in Bucharest, Nuclearelectrica CEO Cosmin Ghita described the project as “an unprecedented international cooperation effort entirely dedicated to meet energy and decarbonization need.” According to him, it will ensure energy security, local and regional development, former coal-based facility repowering, and multiple economic and social benefits.
The project will restore the former coal-fired power plant in Doiceşti as a carbon-free facility
The combined expertise of Nuclearelectrica and its partners will deploy NuScale’s SMR power plant in the areas of project planning, licensing, permitting, engineering, procurement, construction, operation, maintenance, decommissioning, financing and local resources capitalization, the press release adds.
E-Infra CEO Teofil Mureșan said the project at Doiceşti will restore the former coal-fired power plant as a modern carbon-free facility.
“When completed, the Doicești plant will be able to produce up to 462 MW. With this project, Romania will become a leader in the progress of Europe’s extremely important energy security and decarbonisation goals,” said Jim Breuer, head of energy solutions at NuScale Power.
Nuclearelectrica CEO Cosmin Ghita also claimed that “nuclear power is a safe, affordable and clean source of energy, available 24/7 […] which has been helping to decarbonize economies around the world for more than half a decade.”
The Romanian Government recently signed an agreement with Nuclearelectrica to provide financial support for the construction of units 3 and 4 at the Cernavodă nuclear power plant.