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Cernavoda nuclear power plant expansion, modernization focus of U.S-Romania agreement

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The U.S. Department of Energy will work with Romania to help expand and modernize that European nation’s civil nuclear power program, DOE announced Friday.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette and Virgil Popescu, Roman’s Minister of Economy, Energy and Business Development, detailed the cooperative agreement. Once formally active, Romania will utilize U.S. expertise and technology with a multinational team building reactor units 3 and 4 at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

The partnership will also work on refurbishing Cernavoda Unit 1.

“Nuclear energy is crucial to ensuring Romania has a reliable, affordable, and emissions-free supply of electricity, and the U.S. nuclear industry looks forward to providing their expertise to advance this important energy source,” said Secretary Brouillette. “This agreement between the U.S. and Romania furthers our mutual energy cooperation and will strengthen the energy security of both our nations.”

Romania’s electricity mix is considered to be one of the most diverse in eastern Europe, with hydropower, natural gas, coal, nuclear and wind powering generation. Nuclear is second only to hydro in terms of GWh produced.

“Today, Romania is taking a huge step forward in the development of its strategic partnership with the United States of America, in terms of the energy component, namely cooperation in the civil nuclear field,” said Minister Popescu. 

Cernavoda’s first two units were commissioned in the 1990s and 2000s. The CANDU model reactors can generate about 1.3 GW at capacity.