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US funds study for small reactor deployment in Romania

July 21, 2022

The US government committed $14 million for an engineering and design study that would provide the basis for deploying small modular reactors (SMR) for a new nuclear plant in Romania, euractiv.com informs.   The Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) study is expected to be completed in eight months, following an investment of $28 million, including contributions from Romanian nuclear power firm Nuclearelectrica and NuScale, the US company that provides the SMR technology.   Romania selected the site of a former coal-fired power plant to host the first SMR power plant, and the study will provide key site-specific data – cost, construction, schedule, and licensing details – necessary for the deployment of NuScale’s reactors, the White House said on Sunday (26 June).   At the 2021 UN Conference on Climate Change in Glasgow (COP26), US Climate Envoy John Kerry and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis announced their intent to deploy an SMR in Romania in partnership with US firm NuScale Power.   “Nuclear energy, including small modular reactors, represent a critical tool in the fight against climate change and can also enhance energy security and boost economic prosperity. This is a strong step forward in support of Romania’s desire to deploy innovative, safe, and zero-emissions nuclear energy in partnership with the United States,” said Kerry.   When fully implemented, this multi-billion-dollar effort will showcase the ability of advanced nuclear reactors to replace coal generation with clean, innovative nuclear energy while creating thousands of jobs and reaffirming the fact that climate change initiatives and sustainable economic growth go hand-in-hand, the US government said.   “By partnering with the United States, Romania is also ensuring its investments in nuclear energy uphold the highest standards for nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation, while contributing to the consolidation of energy security in the region,” it added.   President Klaus Iohannis congratulated the announcement of US president Joe Biden, on Twitter, on Sunday evening, regarding the financing design studies of small modular reactors (SMR) in Romania, specifying that ensuring energy security represents a common objective of the Romanian-American strategic partnership.   Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca also saluted the US government’s announcement. “The development of the nuclear programme will boost economic growth, both by revitalising the supply chain and by positioning Romania as a regional leader in this industry,” said Ciuca.   ( See also: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/06/26/remarks-by-president-biden-at-launch-of-the-partnership-for-global-infrastructure-and-investment/)

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