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August 8, 2022

EnergMin Popescu: Nuclear power partnership with the US, essential to Romania

New nuclear structures and modular reactors are part of Romania’s decarbonisation agenda and security of supply for the next decades, and the partnership with the United States of America is essential, Romanian Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu told a discussion with US officials and several industry leaders that took place in Prague on Tuesday.

“This morning, I participated as a keynote speaker in the Nuclear Energy Discussion Group organised by the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy & Climate Cooperation (P-TECC). The topic of discussion was ‘Energy Security and Diversification in Europe: Civil Nuclear Energy Perspectives’. Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine has renewed global interest in diversifying energy sectors to increase security and reliability while achieving climate goals. So, we discussed priority nuclear energy projects that the P-TECC countries have in the pipeline,” the minister wrote on Facebook.

He said that the world is facing unprecedented circumstances that are challenging the architecture of our modern society, with very serious implications for the energy sector.

“We fully support IAEA’s efforts to provide a framework for co-operation between Russia and Ukraine in order to ensure the safety of nuclear installations. Romania, together with Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia, has written a letter to the European Commission in support of the IAEA’s intervention, calling for more concrete action. We believe that such a framework should be established as soon as possible to allow for international missions of experts on the ground. At the same time, we said that co-operation is needed to diversify our sources of supply, while we remain committed to carrying out the decarbonisation plan, which is why we are also relying on nuclear energy. In terms of energy prices, we need to work together to find long-term solutions, while at the same time reducing the dependence on the Russian Federation and strengthening energy security,” Popescu said, according to Agerpres.

According to him, Romania is firmly committed to the further development of the national civilian nuclear program.

“New nuclear power plants and SMRs [small modular reactors] are part of our decarbonisation and security of supply agenda for the next few decades. That is why the partnership with the United States is essential, given that Romania and the United States also see nuclear energy as a long-term contributor to achieving climate goals, while ensuring energy security and improving the competitiveness of our economies by creating jobs at a high level of expertise,” the Romanian official also said.

Attending the discussion were by David Turk, Deputy Secretary – DOE, US; Andrew Griffith, Acting Deputy Secretary for Nuclear Energy – DOE, US; Aleshia Duncan Deputy Assistant Secretary – DOE – US; Piotr Naimski, Plenipotentiary of the Polish Government for Strategic Energy Infrastructure; Tomas Ehler, Deputy Minister, Department of Nuclear Energy – Czech Republic; Jan Prasil, Director, Nuclear Energy Department, Ministry for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Minister of Transport – Czech Republic; Timo Tatar, Deputy Secretary General for Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications – Estonia; Attila Steiner, State Secretary for the Development of Circular Economy, Energy and Climate Policy, Ministry for Innovation and Technology – Hungary; Mentor Arifaj, Deputy Minister of Energy – Kosovo; Liga Rozentale, Head, Department of Energy Market and Infrastructure, Ministry of Economics – Latvia; Zorana Mihajlovic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy – Serbia; German Galushchenko, Minister of Energy – Ukraine; Elena Popescu, Director General – Ministry of Energy and other important players in the nuclear area.


Photo: Facebook/Virgil Popescu

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