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First simulator of a SMR control room, at Politehnica University of Bucharest

26 May 2022

At the Small Modular and Advanced Reactor Workshop Planning IV held in Bucharest, co-hosted by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Nuclearelectrica and NuScale announced the partnership with Universitatea Politehnica to develop the NuScale Energy Exploration Center (“E2 Center”) in collaboration with the U.S. and the Romanian governments. 

The NuScale small modular reactor (“SMR”) simulator will be installed at the University Politehnica of Bucharest to support workforce capacity building of Romania’s next generation of nuclear experts, technologists and operators. As the first simulator of a small modular reactor control room in Europe, and the 4th in the world, this collaboration highlights the rapidly growing global support for NuScale, and its recognition as a clean energy solution for the future. 

This E2 Center capacity-building deployment is made possible by U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) funding under the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) program.

“We are pleased to provide Romania with a SMR simulator under our FIRST program,” said Bonnie Jenkins, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. “The E2 Center will strengthen our strategic partnership with Romania and further Romania’s goals of becoming a leader in the secure and safe deployment of SMRs and workforce development in the region,” he added.

“We are proud Romania will accommodate the first E2 Center in Europe, an essential tool for Nuclearectrica’s first small modular reactor operators and for forming a new generation of nuclear engineers for Romania and for the region. Romania has more advantages, which qualify it as one of the first countries to deploy the first SMR in Europe: more than 25 years of experience in operating its nuclear plant at an excellent standard of nuclear safety, productivity and workforce performance. Also, Romania has a renowned school of nuclear engineers, a vast nuclear industry supply chain and an appreciated nuclear research and development center. Furthermore, Romania and the U.S. have a strong partnership in the nuclear industry going back to the early 80s. Placing the E2 Center in Politehnica University will continue our long and successful collaboration with the same goal: to form a nucleus of excellence for the nuclear industry in Romania”, also said Cosmin Ghita CEO Nuclearelectrica

“The E2 Center will serve as a critical workforce development tool for Nuclearelectrica and the Romanian nuclear workforce, enabling them to conduct research and training related to the use of SMRs for flexible, secure and safe operation, demonstration of real-time response to normal and off-normal conditions, and electricity generation,” also said John Hopkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of NuScale. 

“To date, NuScale has opened three E2 Centers at U.S. universities, including Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and Texas A&M University,” he added.

The E2 Center is an innovative learning environment that offers users a hands-on opportunity to apply nuclear science and engineering principles through simulated, real-world nuclear power plant operation scenarios. The E2 Center employs state-of-the-art computer modeling within a simulator of the NuScale SMR power plant control room. Users will have the opportunity to take on the role of “control room operator” at a 12-unit SMR plant to learn about the revolutionary safety and smarter features unique to NuScale’s technology. The installation of the E2 Center and training for the instructors who will use the center will be targeted for completion by late 2023.

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