U.S. boosts SMR development in Romania

January 18, 2021, 7:04AMNuclear News

U.S. ambassador to Romania Adrian Zuckerman (right) and SNN chief executive officer Cosmin Ghita at the January signing. Photo: U.S. Embassy in Romania

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant worth an undisclosed amount to Romania’s nuclear energy authority, Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica (SNN), for technical assistance to support the development of small modular reactors in that country, the agency announced on January 14.

The grant will be used to identify a short list of SMR-suitable sites, assess SMR technology options, and develop site-specific licensing roadmaps. SNN has selected Chicago-based Sargent & Lundy to carry out the assistance.

What they’re saying: “USTDA is an ideal partner for Romania as it seeks cutting-edge civil nuclear energy technology for its future energy needs,” said Todd Abrajano, USTDA’s chief operating officer and head of agency. “Our assistance will build stronger ties between our respective industries and create new business opportunities for U.S. industry in an important market.”

SNN’s chief executive officer, Cosmin Ghita, stated, “In addition to the current development of [Cernavoda] reactors 3 and 4, SNN is also interested in assessing the development of small modular reactors as a long-term solution to further develop 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. 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 case you missed it: Last October, U.S. secretary of energy Dan Brouillette and Romania’s minister of economy, energy, and business development Virgil Popescu initialed a draft intergovernmental agreement to cooperate on the construction of two additional reactors at Cernavoda, Romania’s only nuclear power plant, as well as the refurbishment of Unit 1.

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