Expanding nuclear programme, key to energy independence for Romania

According to Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian, nuclear energy could, on medium term, compensate the decline of other resources such as methane gas, the extraction of which in the Black Sea is not yet certain.

The expansion of the nuclear programme for the production of electricity could secure energy independence for the country and offset the depletion of other resources, says Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian. ‘I am a supporter of the expansion of the nuclear programme for the production of electricity in Romania.

In 2008, we signed a partnership with major companies in the field for starting the project of reactors 3 and 4 at Cernavoda. I don’t wish to recall the reasons for which the investment was not continued. What happened to that partnership was not a final failure, but just an impasse,’ Vosganian said at the ‘NucInfo’ Day 2013 symposium, according to an Economy Ministry press release. Minister Vosganian’s argument was that, while the price of electricity is going down on OPCOM, nuclear investment is still justified, as nuclear energy is of a nature ‘to counteract the depletion of other resources’. ‘Latest signals suggest that Romanian economy has not increased its demand for energy, even on OPCOM the power price has decreased to a certain extent, a decrease that could bring a state of uncertainty if it counties. Nuclear energy provides us with energy independence, it is a clean and relatively cheap energy, we do have the necessary human resources and technology for it. It could offset the depletion of other resources such as the methane gas, resources the compensation of which in the Black Sea basin is not a certainty,’ Varujan Vosganian said. According to him, ArcelorMittal Galati, Alro Slatina and Feral Tulcea could benefit from discounts on the final price paid for energy, distribution, cogeneration tax and the impact of green certificates on bills, if robust investment is made.

Nuclear energy not in impasse

The minister of economy noted that reactors 1 and 2 at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant are on top positions in what regards nuclear safety and smooth operation of the units. ‘It is not true that nuclear energy is in impasse at a global level right now. Reality shows there are about 440 nuclear reactors in the world. Over 60 new ones are under construction in various parts of the world. The International Agency for Atomic Energy anticipates that states will want to increase their number by roughly 80 new reactors,’ he added. The Government is also looking at the possibility of opening a nuclear station in the centre of Romania, less exposed to seismic risks, the official announced.  On a distinct note, the minister also said the main changes the new mining law was going to bring were in connection with the royalties and re-opening of closed mines as investors from Russia, Poland and South Africa have showed an interest in those.

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