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October 4, 2022

Romatom: Nuclear energy program to continue in Romania

The Romanian Atomic Forum (ROMATOM), member of the European Atomic Forum (FORATOM), has organized a round table meeting attended by the representatives of three companies – China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), SNC-Lavalin (Canada) and Nuclearelectrica National Company – and by the representatives of the Energy Ministry. Key aspects concerning the completion of reactors 3 and 4 of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant have been outlined on this occasion.
Zhang Qibo, CGN Project CEO, pointed out that “China and Canada have in mind many domains of cooperation in the nuclear domain, and this opportunity to complete the two CANDU reactors in Romania presents a strategic importance for us. Against the backdrop of growing cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the introduction of Chinese financing as well as our excellent management experience in design and operational use – with 14 operating reactors and 12 under construction we are on first place in China in both chapters – is witness to the consolidation of ties between China and the CEE in general, as well as those between China and Romania in particular. CGN is prepared to work closely with Romanian, Canadian and European partners in order for the project of the Cernavoda reactors 3 and 4 to go ahead, as strategic partner and in the spirit of mutual benefit and of mutually advantageous collaboration.”
“The continuation of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant project through the completion of reactors 3 and 4 would be the next logical step in Romania’s nuclear program,” Preston Swafford, Chief Nuclear Officer and Executive Vice-President, Nuclear, SNC-Lavalin, stated. “We would be very proud to take part in this CANDU project, which would be a natural continuation of the almost 40 years of collaboration in the nuclear domain between Canada and Romania. Likewise, it is a great pleasure for us to work closely with CGN. China has developed a considerable capacity in the nuclear domain, and Chinese companies have worked jointly with Canadian ones to build two CANDU reactors in Qinshan, China. These two units, the sisters of those in Cernavoda, have registered excellent performances,” SNC-Lavalin Chief Nuclear Officer Preston Swafford stated.
Daniela Lulache, Nuclearelectrica CEO (photo), pointed out that “Nuclearelectrica is interested in developing the Reactors 3 and 4 project at Cernavoda since it is currently the only long-term strategic project that can fulfill the price and domestic consumption needs, as well as the European Union’s energy policy and strategy and carbon emissions reduction targets. On the basis of its 2030 energy strategy, the European Union has expressed its determined support for the Energy Union, which emphasizes the need to boost domestic production from clean sources. By doubling its nuclear capacity alongside a strategic investor, Romania has the chance to play a major role in the region while simultaneously offering economic and financial internal support, ensuring accessible prices for end consumers and continuing the development of the most performing industries in the country. The reactors 3 and 4 project in Cernavoda is a major factor on Romania’s investment route.”
The participants emphasized the project’s significant economic impact, through works estimated at EUR 1.5 – 2 bln that will be awarded to Romanian companies, thus creating 5,000 to 20,000 jobs in the construction stage and 5,000 jobs in the operational stage that will last almost 60 years.
The conclusion of the talks was that the nuclear domain is playing and has to continue to play an important role in the production of electricity in Romania, and the reactors 3 and 4 project represents a logical investment that will allow the Romanian Government to capitalize on the EUR 1 bln already invested in the project. The challenges that Europe faces in what concerns climate change and energy security offer Romania the possibility to bring important contributions in both domains.

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