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PM Ciuca, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy discuss civil nuclear programme enlargement

May 26, 2022

  Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca met, at the Victoria Govermental Palace on Monday, Deputy Secretary with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) David M. Turk, with European energy security and enlarging the civil nuclear programme in Romania being among the discussion topics.According to a Romanian Government release, on this occasion the two high officials underscored the importance of the partnership relation between Romania and the U.S., in the context of the need to enlarge Romania's electricity production capacities, as part of the demarches that can contribute to consolidating security in the region."Thus, building reactors 3 and 4 at the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant, as well as the maintenance works needed at Unit 1 represent necessary stages for reaching the level ensuring energy independence in Romania. The new projects that will consolidate these progresses are related to the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) implementation, based on the U.S. NuScale company technology. The main benefits guaranteed through implementing these solutions are aimed at both decarbonisation - an important European objective, as well as the high level of security under which the investments would be made," the release reads.At the same time, the Prime Minister conveyed gratitude for the support granted to the European energy system."We want to develop the strategic partnership with the United States of America in other relevant areas, such as the industrial, economic, research-development, nuclear ones. Romania is the only European country with North-American nuclear technology. We need new energy resources and there is also a political consensus to develop projects in the nuclear area," Ciuca said.The quoted source points out that both sides voiced availability to develop the Romania-U.S. partnership both in the area of using nuclear energy and in the exploitation of gas, oil, energy from renewable sources, with an action plan to be drawn up in this respect.Energy Minister Virgil Popescu and Nuclearelectrica Director General Cosmin Ghita participated in the meeting.        United States and Romania Announce New Reactor Simulator at University Politehnica and Partnership   under the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) Program        The United States and Romania are pleased to announce a new dimension in their Strategic Partnership with the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) program. Under FIRST, the United States will provide Romania with a NuScale small modular reactor (SMR) simulator for Romania to establish an E2 Center at University Politehnica in Bucharest. The E2 Center will further Romania’s goals of becoming a leader in secure and safe SMR deployment and an SMR educational and training hub in the region.  This announcement builds upon the U.S.-Romania Intergovernmental Agreement for cooperation on Romania’s nuclear power program (IGA) signed in December 2020, cementing a multi-decade relationship on civil nuclear advancement.      FIRST supports Romania’s leadership in being the first country in the region to deploy SMR technology.  This is an initial step, but a huge technology leap, in advancing climate action, energy security, and energy access throughout Europe and the world.       Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Bonnie Jenkins said:  "Today, I am pleased to fulfill the commitment we made in our Nuclear Futures Package which I announced at COP26 in November to provide Romania with an SMR simulator to support Romania’s ambitious nuclear energy program and goal to be a SMR hub in the region. We have no better partner in the region than Romania.”       "I am very pleased that today we start a new era by advancing Romania’s nuclear energy infrastructure with a NuScale_Power SMR simulator at University Politehnica, to support education and workforce development under the FIRST program. Romania is committed to develop the first SMR in the region and building on science, engineering and technologies skills is a guarantee that our nuclear programme on new technology will ensure the necessary expertise for setting the highest standards of nuclear safety & security. I hope that would encourage the younger generation to join the SMR development in Romania and in the region."       Building on more than 60 years of U.S. innovation and expertise in nuclear energy, FIRST provides capacity-building support to partner countries as they develop their civil nuclear energy programs to meet clean energy needs under the highest international standards for nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation. In the 2021 Leaders’ Summit on Climate, the Biden-Harris Administration launched the FIRST program as one of the United States’ key efforts to promote innovation, bring clean technologies to scale, and build unprecedented global cooperation to confront the climate crisis.      This project is just the latest example of cooperation between the United States and Romania in a wide range of fields and comes in the year that Romania and the United States are celebrating their 25th Anniversary of the United States-Romania Strategic Partnership. (Source: Public Diplomacy – Press Office  U.S. Embassy-Bucharest )

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