Teodor Chirica, Nuclearelectrica: Europe’s energy future cannot exist without renewables, gas and nuclear energy

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Nuclear energy is a strategic component without which the achievement of the assumed European environmental targets cannot happen, said Teodor Chirica, member of the Board of Directors of Nuclearelectrica, at the 2020 Energy Strategy Summit.

“We note at present that, in the [European Union] famous taxonomy, by the limit of 100 g/kWh in CO2 equivalent emissions and by the inability to assess the risks in the committee of technicians selected by the European Commission, it results that nuclear have a somewhat unstable position in Romania’s energy future. In my opinion, Europe’s energy future cannot exist without renewables, gas and nuclear energy. Let’s not forget that the United States has reduced its emissions just by switching from coal to gas. And in Europe, today, 50% of clean energy is nuclear energy”, said Chirica.

Nuclearelectrica’s investment program July 2020-July 2025 has a value of 2.3 billion lei. “The strategy includes the biennial revisions of Units 1 and 2, which also have a major overhaul component. In the case of Unit 2, which is approaching a major refurbishment that will double its lifespan, our policy is to try to do what can be done in advance, within the planned shutdowns, so as to flatten the financial flows and the impact with workforce. Another interesting project is the production of Cobalt-60, an application that can be found at all Candu power plants around the world. Cobalt-60 has multiple applications in medicine, in the sterilization of medical instruments and food industry and also brings a financial component. We also continue our modular projects, a continuous activity, with intermediate burnt fuel depots. We plan to modernize and expand the physical protection system – a permanent problem for all of us in the industry. Then there is the change of the destination of Unit 5, which, from the analyzes of power evacuation and cooling water, no longer makes sense in the development of SNN; we will turn it into a structure that will improve the plant’s response in case of emergency. Another interesting project is the heavy water detritification plant, which reduces the level of radioactivity, improves working conditions, the environmental impact and facilitates refurbishment operations. We also have a project for the development of the IT system”, he added.

“In perspective, we are thinking, for the period after 2035, of small modular reactors, but we do not forget Units 3 and 4.”

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