NuScale Power announced yesterday that it has joined the Romanian Atomic Forum, aka Romatom, as a supporting member “to champion the association’s nuclear energy goals and further the next generation of advanced nuclear technology experts, technologists, and operators in Romania.” The move further deepens the American small modular reactor company’s commitment to the deployment of a VOYGR SMR plant in the Central European state.
“NuScale is honored to join Romatom and continue the strong relationship between the United States and Romania in the nuclear industry,” said John Hopkins, NuScale’s president and chief executive officer, in a May 24 company release. “At NuScale, we are committed to promoting the safe deployment of small modular reactors globally. We look forward to working with Romatom’s community of industry leaders to increase Romania’s nuclear capacity and support the country’s goal of becoming a leader in advanced zero-carbon nuclear power throughout the region.”
NOT Rosatom! A nonprofit nongovernmental association established in 2001, Romatom supports the safe and peaceful use of nuclear power and promotes the development of Romania’s national nuclear program, according to the group’s website. Nuclearelectrica, the state-owned operator of Romania’s two-unit Cernavoda nuclear plant, is also a member, as are such well-known nuclear industry firms as Candu Energy, Framatome, General Electric, Konecranes, and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power.
“[The] joining of NuScale to Romatom is an important moment in our life and activity, contributing to a better knowledge of our capabilities by the American partner, ensuring the Romanian nuclear community a well-deserved place in the realization of the first NuScale VOYGR small modular reactor project in Romania,” said Teodor Chirica, president emeritus of Romatom. “The project from Doicești, Dambovita County, will pave the way for more flexibility and safety in the Romanian power grid.”
Background: NuScale and Nuclearelectrica signed a memorandum of understanding in March 2019 to evaluate the development, licensing, and construction of a NuScale SMR in Romania. Two-plus years later, in November 2021, the companies signed a teaming agreement to deploy the first NuScale six-module VOYGR-6, a 462-MWe power plant in Romania by the end of this decade. And earlier this year, NuScale and RoPower—a project development company established and jointly owned by Nuclearelectrica and Nova Power & Gas, a Romanian energy firm—commenced front-end engineering and design work for a potential SMR deployment in Doicești.
Further, just last week, at the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, the Biden administration announced a global public-private commitment of up to $275 million to advance the deployment of the Romanian VOYGR plant.