Small Modular Reactors

Romania / US Awards $1.2 Million Grant For SMR Development

By David Dalton
15 January 2021

US Awards $1.2 Million Grant For SMR Development
Romania says SMRs could offer a long-term solution for development of the Romanian nuclear industry. Courtesy NuScale.
The US Trade and Development Agency has awarded a $1.2m grant to Romania’s national nuclear energy company Societatea National Nuclearelectrica, to support the development of small modular reactor solutions in Romania.

USTDA said its technical assistance will support Romania’s efforts to include SMR technology in its national energy strategy. The assistance will identify a short list of SMR-suitable sites, assess SMR technology options and develop site-specific licensing roadmaps. Nuclearelectrica has chosen Illinois-based Sargent & Lundy to carry out the assistance.

Nuclearelectrica chief executive officer Cosmin Ghita said that in addition to the current development of two new units at the Cernavodă nuclear power station, the company is also interested in assessing the development of SMRs as a long-term solution for development of the Romanian nuclear industry.

“We are interested in features like flexibility, modularity and higher efficiency that could provide advantages for both the energy system and businesses after 2035,” he said. “The grant awarded by USTDA will allow us to further explore siting and technology compatibility with the proper technical assistance and have this assessment process initiated in due time for further decision-making.”

In October 2020, Romania and the US signed a draft cooperation agreement for the refurbishment of one nuclear power reactor and the construction of two more at the Cernavodă.

Nuclearelectrica said the draft agreement included plans for the refurbishment of Unit 1, a 650-MW Candu 6 unit which began commercial operation in December 1996. The US DOE, meanwhile, confirmed that the agreement includes plans for two more units at the Cernavodă site.

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