Romania to start construction on units 3, 4 of Cernavoda n-power plant

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Friday, on a visit to Suceava County, that Romania will start construction on units 3 and 4 of the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant after an intergovernmental agreement between the United States of America (USA) and Romania in the field of civil nuclear co-operation received the approval of the European Commission. According to him, the construction of the units will be conducted with strategic partners from the US and partners from the European Union. "The Minister of Economy, Virgil Popescu, has informed me that the intergovernmental agreement between the US and Romania in the field of civil nuclear co-operation has received the approval of the European Commission, which means that we can say that this approval of our draft agreement gets us closer to the construction of units 3 and 4 at Cernavoda, with strategic partners from the US and with partners from the European Union, and we are very happy to have received this approval from the Energy Directorate of the European Commission, which will allow us to sign the agreement in a final form and start construction on units 3 and 4 at Cernavoda," said Orban. In Suceava on Friday, Orban participated in the reception of works on a bypass in the city of Radauti. Early October, Romania initialled an agreement with the US that will allow Romania access to American know-how and expertise for both units 3 and 4, as well as for the retooling of unit 1, while keeping the CANDU 6 technology in place, as part of a Euro-Atlantic consortium. Romania's Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment informed back then that the initialling stage represents reaching an agreement in principle on the text and main components of the development of the projects and parties involved, with the draft agreement expected to be submitted to the European Commission according to the EURATOM Treaty and co-operation under the agreement being subject to the national, European and international provisions. The purpose of the intergovernmental agreement is the development of the Romanian civil nuclear programme by securing technical expertise, regulation, safety and nuclear safety and, implicitly, strengthening the security, diversity, operational safety and energy and environmental stability of Romania, all related to the investment objectives of the nuclear power plant, such as retooling unit 1 and expanding the plant's the capacity. The agreement covers several areas of co-operation, including: units 3 and 4 project, unit 1 retooling, co-operation in various areas, such as regulation, exchanges between research laboratories and universities, staff training, research and development. In addition to the current projects units 3 and 4 and the retooling of unit 1, the agreement provides for long and very long-term co-operation including the possibility of developing small modular reactors in Romania, at a location to be determined, in order to ensure future flexibility and scalability of nuclear technologies. The technology used for the development of units 3 and 4 will be CANDU 6, similar to the one currently used in units 1 and 2. AGERPRES (RO - author: Cristian Lupascu, editor: Marius Fratila; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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