Romania and France have signed a declaration of intent on cooperation in the civil nuclear field, which aims, among other things, to collaborate in carrying out the construction project of Reactor 3 and 4 at Cernavoda and capital repair, modernization, renovation of Reactor 1, in a broader framework, with strategic partners.
“Today Nuclearelectrica signed an agreement with Orano, within the strategic partnership Romania – France, for the design of the construction of reactors 3 and 4 and for the modernization and capital repair of reactor 1 in Cernavoda”, said Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, after the official meeting with Prime Minister Jean Castex of France, in Paris.
Orano Group was established in 2017 as a subsidiary of Areva, following a restructuring process and specializes in uranium mining. Currently owned by the French state, Orano processes nuclear materials to include them in the development of the society in the field of radiological research and energy. With 16,000 employees, the group offers high value-added products and services for the entire nuclear fuel cycle, from raw materials to waste processing. Its activities, from mining to decommissioning, include conversion, enrichment, recycling, logistics and engineering, to contribute to the production of low-carbon electricity.
Romania and the USA signed an intergovernmental agreement two weeks ago for the construction of Units 3 and 4 of the Cernavoda Power Plant, for the refurbishment of Unit 1 and for cooperation on various levels in the civil nuclear field in Romania. In addition to this agreement, there is a memorandum of understanding with EXIM US (US Export-Import Bank) for a financing of 7 billion dollars for the development of projects in the nuclear field, but also other fields. But other financial institutions could also be involved.
The agreement with the USA for the construction of the reactors will allow the use of American expertise, while maintaining the CANDU 6 technology. “At the same time, in addition to our American partners, we want to have Canadians and French partners,” said Economy Minister Virgil Popescu, after signing the agreement with the United States.
The 8 billion euro project will be coordinated by AECOM and will involve a consortium of companies from the USA, Romania, Canada and France. AECOM is a large American engineering company, operating in over 150 countries, with revenues of over $ 20 billion in 2019.
The Government notified the European Commission of the agreement with the USA regarding the construction of Cernavoda reactors 3 and 4 and the refurbishment of reactor 1. The notification was made in accordance with the provisions of the EURATOM Treaty, the cooperation under the agreement being subject to national, European and international provisions.
On June 12, 2020, at the request of the Ministry of Economy, the shareholders of Nuclearelectrica approved in the GMS meeting the cessation of negotiations with the Chinese from China General Nuclear Power Corporation for the construction of reactors 3 and 4 from Cernavoda. Thus, the Government’s intention to give up the Chinese and to analyze other options was materialized.