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June 27, 2022

U.S. to provide Romania with small modular reactor simulator

The U.S. will provide Romania with a small modular reactor (SMR) simulator, enabling it to set up a E2 Center at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, the U.S. Embassy in Romania said in a statement to Agerpres.

“The United States and Romania are pleased to announce a new dimension to their Strategic Partnership through the Foundational Infrastructure for the Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) program under which the U.S. will provide Romania with a small modular reactor (SMR) simulator, allowing Romania to set up an E2 Center at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest. The E2 Center will help advance Romania’s goals of becoming a leader in the safe and secure deployment of SMRs and the creation of an SMR education and training center in the region. This announcement comes as a result of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement on Romania’s Nuclear Energy Program (IGA) signed in December 2020, which strengthened a several-decade long relationship in the field of civilian nuclear energy development,” the release states.

It goes on to note that the FIRST program supports Romania’s leading role as the first country in the region to use SMR technology in a first, yet technologically huge step to improve climate change and energy security actions, as well as access to energy across Europe and the world.

“We have no better partner in the region than Romania. I am very pleased that today we start a new era by advancing Romania’s nuclear energy infrastructure with a NuScale Power SMR simulator at the Bucharest Polytechnic University, to support education and workforce development under the FIRST program. Romania is committed to developing the first SMR in the region and building on science, engineering and technologies skills is a guarantee that our nuclear program on new technology will ensure the necessary expertise for setting the highest standards of nuclear safety & security. I hope that would encourage the younger generation to join the SMR development in Romania and in the region,” said U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Bonnie Jenkins.

“This project is just the latest example of cooperation between the U.S. and Romania in a wide range of fields and comes in the year of the 25th anniversary of the U.S. – Romania Strategic Partnership,” shows the cited document.

Energy Minister Virgil Popescu announced on Monday that the old Doicesti thermal power station is the best location for Romania’s first SMR.

According to the Energy Ministry, the site was identified following an in-depth 1.2 million-dollar survey by Nuclearelectrica, with the funding provided to the national nuclear corporation in early 2021 under a USTDA grant for identifying and assessing various sites for the implementation of SMRs in Romania.

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