U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Huff tours Cernavoda n-power plant

On July 30, 2021, Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, Dr. Kathryn Huff, and Charge d'affaires David Muniz visited the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant. According to a press statement released by the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, the visit was meant to "kick off bilateral engagements associated with the recent promulgation of the intergovernmental agreement between the United States and Romania," while also marking the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership. The embassy calls the partnership "a friendship that not only ensures Romania's security in a geopolitically important region, but also one that strives to make Romania a stronger, more prosperous and energy-independent Ally of the United States and the rest of NATO." In light of the Biden Administration's strategic approach to tackling climate change through clean energy generation, reads the statement, this project is part of a broader context in which our Embassy is working with the Romanian government to support the country's clean energy transition. "Today, our common vision of a Romania that is energy independent, secure, and able to meet its energy needs domestically and cleanly is much closer to reality. Two years of shared work and engagement on behalf of both our nations have brought us to this point. I can think of no greater way to advance our bilateral Strategic Partnership than highlight the very real progress we have made in bringing this country's civil-nuclear future forward," Muniz is quoted as saying in the statement. While at the power plant, Huff discussed the financing for the multibillion project. The group, hosted by Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica CEO Cosmin Ghita toured the reactor units. "This historic intergovernmental agreement will enable critical nuclear power projects at the Cernavoda site as well as broader clean energy coordination activities which will support Romania's energy independence, localization of a clean energy supply chain, cutting edge research, and workforce development," Huff is quoted as saying. The embassy also says that The Extended Intergovernmental Agreement between Romania and the United States allows for cooperation in areas of importance to Romania and the civil nuclear field, especially the Project of Units 3 and 4 and the refurbishment of Unit 1. A memorandum of understanding was signed with the Export-Import Bank of the United States to express their interest in financially supporting the development of projects in the Romanian nuclear energy field. According to a press statement released by Nuclearelectrica, co-operation between Romania and the USA envisages the expansion of nuclear resources as a firm solution to achieve decarbonisation targets, with both countries being strongly active internationally in promoting nuclear technologies and nuclear innovation to respond efficiently to energy needs in the medium and long term, on time and while keeping decarbonisation costs at a sustainable level. "The Romanian energy system needs resilience and sustainability, and the expansion of nuclear resources in Romania amid an ongoing transition to a clean economy that satisfies such needs, leads to economic and social growth, the development of the supply chain, a necessary requirement, indirect creation of approximately 19,000 jobs at the industry level, training new generations of specialists simultaneously with the avoidance of 20 million tons of CO2 / year by operating 4 CANDU nuclear units," said Cosmin Ghita, General Manager of Nuclearelectrica. AGERPRES (RO - autor: George Onea, editor: Marius Fratila; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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