Nuclearelectrica is a key pillar for Romania’s energy future, especially in view of the new decarbonisation targets in recent strategic plans, said Cosmin Ghiță, CEO of Nuclearelectrica, at the Energy Strategy Summit 2022, an event organised by Energynomics.
Romania is committed to a 55% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and a reduction in import dependency from 20-25% to 17%. “It is absolutely normal that nuclear energy is growing – it can give very good, clean, zero-carbon band energy. At the same time, the SMR units can assist in balancing the system, and in integrating new renewable capacities. They are flexible and modular enough so that they can physically replace some coal capacities, such as the recently announced project for a power plant at Doicești. Last but not least, CANDU technology, but also SMR technology, can be very efficient in hydrogen production. So they are very well suited to Romania’s energy needs, given the new decarbonisation plan,” he said.
Nuclear power has reduced carbon emissions by almost 200 million tons in recent years, with an estimated 10 million tons of carbon emissions not entering the atmosphere each year, thanks to the reactors at Cernavodă – which produce about 20% of the country’s energy and 30% of the green energy delivered to the system. The nuclear industry generates 11,000 jobs in power plants and horizontally, contributing 590 million euros to GDP annually – which is equal to the budget needed to repair all the hospitals in Romania, said Cosmin Ghiță.
Among Nuclearelectrica’s major projects is the refurbishment of Unit 1, which costs half the construction of a new unit but gives the unit another full life cycle. The Unit 3 and 4 projects will provide very good synergy for the power system, both from an operation and maintenance perspective.
“We are looking to identify new sites for SMR technology developed by NuScale. We have identified the Doicești site for the 462 MW six-module project, possibly coupled with renewable energy in a multi-technology complex. At the same time, we need an integrated nuclear cycle – here we are talking about the Feldioara uranium concentrates processing plant, now 100% owned by Nuclearelectrica, in parallel with the Tulgheș- Grințieș mine license,” he added.
Energy Strategy Summit 2022 was organized by Energynomics with the support of its partners: ABB, BCR, CE Oltenia, Chimcomplex, Eaton, Electrica Furnizare, Electroalfa, EnergoBit, Enevo Group, European Energy, Eximbank, EY, Franklin Templeton, Horváth, ING, Hidroelectrica, Marsh, MET Energy România, Nuclearelectrica, BCR Pensii, Photomate, Powertis, Renomia Gallagher, Schneider Electric, Transelectrica, Volt, wpd.