American company NuScale Power is set to put Romanian joint venture RoPower Nuclear on the right track towards the country’s first-ever small modular reactor (SMR)-powered plant as it will be handling the first phase of the initiative’s front-end engineering and design work.
A memorandum of agreement was formally signed between RoPower Romania and NuScale last December 28th, 2022.
This SMR project has been made possible thanks to a grant of $14 million from the United States government which was originally announced in June of last year. This team-up between RoPower Nuclear with NuScale Power is a project under the Biden Administration’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment and is touted as a measure that will meet Romania’s energy security and decarbonization goals, as well as those of other European nations.
What will NuScale be Doing for RoPower Nuclear?
The first phase of the initiative is expected to define the primary site for the plant, as well as specific input for the development of a VOYGR-6 SMR plant at RoPower Nuclear’s Doicesti Power Station.
NuScale President and CEO John Hopkins expressed his enthusiasm for the team-up, citing how his company’s work will put Romania on the path towards safer, more reliable, and carbon-free power generation technology. Indeed, the development of the SMR plant will make Romania the first European nation to reap the benefits of new-generation nuclear technology.
Hopkins added that the partnership with RoPower and its parent company, state-owned nuclear power firm Nuclearelectrica, will lead to practical strategies that will lead to the proper deployment and operation of the new plant.
For his part, Nuclearelectrica CEO Cosmin Ghita takes pride in the partnership and looks forward to starting project planning and in-depth site analysis with NuScale. Ghita explained that it has taken four years of collaboration, research, and further studies to lay down the groundwork for the partnership.
Working with NuScale will enable RoPower and Nuclearelectrica to select the best possible site for the plant, choose the best and safest technology to deploy, and ensure that the project will serve as the foundation for a more sustainable future for the country.
The Site for Development
RoPower Nuclear’s proposed Doicesti site previously hosted a thermal power plant, so it has a measure of experience when it comes to handling power generation. The site was formerly owned by Nova Power & Gas, Nuclearelectrica’s partner for the RoPower Nuclear venture.
The site was chosen based on a study performed by Nuclearelectrica to identify and evaluate the best possible site to install and deploy an SMR.