Romania: NPP Cernavoda expansion agreement with US

, SEE Energy News

Electricity producer Nuclearelectrica, the operator of Romania’s sole nuclear power plant Cernavoda, announced that the Romanian Parliament has adopted the draft law on the ratification of the agreement between the Romanian Government and the Government of the United States of America on the cooperation on NPP Cernavoda projects, which includes the reconstruction of unit 1 and the construction of two new units.

In October 2020, Romania and the United States have initialized the intergovernmental agreement on the cooperation in the civil nuclear industry field, which was subsequently notified and endorsed by the European Commission.

The ratification of the Agreement between the two governments represents the general framework for the continuation and implementation of strategic nuclear projects assumed by Romania in the energy strategy and in Integrated Energy and Climate Plan as a pillar of achieving the decarbonization targets, the energy security and the efficient transition to clean energy.

CEO of Nuclearelectrica Cosmin Ghita welcomed the adoption of the draft law for the ratification of the agreement. From the operator’s point of view, time is an important variable in carrying out projects and the goal is to have unit 3 connected to the grid in 2030 and Unit 4 in 2031. Thus, Romania will align itself with the states that heavily capitalize on domestic resources to ensure the transition, as well as the energy consumption at sustainable prices considering that, for example, based on the international studies, the cost of electricity resulting from the extension of the nuclear units lifetime is the lowest of all sources and that of new nuclear projects is considered competitive. Therefore, nuclear projects come with a double advantage: competitive costs and zero CO2 emissions.

The reconstruction of unit 1 and the construction of units 3 and 4 represents a significant contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions, thus doubling, after 2031, the amount of CO2 avoided by operating nuclear units from 10 million tons of CO2/year, currently, to 20 million tons of CO2/year.