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IAEA: Doicești site selection process complies with security standards

10 April 2024


IAEA SEED (Site and External Events Design) follow-up mission concludes that the selection process of the Doicesti site is complying with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommended approach for site selection, as stated in the IAEA Safety Standards, according to SNN.


”SN Nuclearelectrica SA and RoPower Nuclear, the SMR Project Company, announced the successful conclusion of the IAEA SEED (Site and External Events Design) Follow-up Mission, focused on the selection of the Doicești site, planned for the safe development of the first Small Modular Reactor Plant in Romania. We are deeply appreciative for the professional and independent mission carried out by the IAEA team of experts,” SNN officials said.

The SEED program assists IAEA Member States at different stages in the development of a nuclear power program, including reviewing site selection, site assessment and design of structures, systems, and components, taking into consideration site specific external and internal potential hazards.


The SEED Mission was requested by SN Nuclearelectrica to independently assess the site selection process according to the IAEA Safety Standards, and consequently start the next phase of site evaluation preliminary to the site license application for an SMR project in Romania.


“The IAEA Team welcomed the effort spent by SNN to conduct an objective, feasible and safety-oriented site selection process in Romania, considered a robust framework for the SMR project development. The request for a follow up of the SEED mission carried out in 2022 to review the process on site selection, is the best evidence of the SNN commitment to safety and its firm decision to minimize the risk that safety issues discovered at later stage may challenge the smooth and safe project implementation. The experience under development in Romania can be of great value for the nuclear community,” said Paolo Contri, Team Leader for the review and Head of the External Events Safety Section in the IAEA Department of Nuclear Safety and Security.


The Romanian scientific team provided solid data and scientific evidence to support the decision to select the Doicesti site for the first SMR development in Romania. The internal teams of reputed experts carried out detailed investigations, calculations, and studies showing that the final selection of the Doicesti site is sustainable and in full compliance with the IAEA recommended approach for site selection. Moreover, all this work supports a solid decision-making process.


“We consider that a safe nuclear project should be done also based on thorough, independent assessments, hence our invitation to IAEA to conduct such a review Nuclear projects, regardless of the technology, have one essential thing in common: nuclear safety and we are keen on developing an exemplary project by using a high-level nuclear safety technology, rigorous site selection, complete and safe site-specific external events consideration. In addition to Romanian experts, we very much appreciate international objective, independent expertise to make sure that all safety related issues are considered and addressed since the early stages of the project. I thank IAEA team of experts for conducting this review and I thank the Romanian team of experts for reconfirming their professionalism,” added Cosmin Ghita, Chief Executive Officer, SN Nuclearelectrica.


The site selection process has received the trust of external financing parties, namely USTDA, which granted USD 1.2 million for the study. Sargent &Lundy, a well-established and reputed engineering company, has carried out the study independently. This underlines the international support and trust invested into the Doicești SMR Project in Romania, following clear guidelines, suggestions and recommendations made by the IAEA experts.


”The conclusions of IAEA team of experts regarding site selection process reconfirm our strategy and effort to develop a state-of-the-art SMR project in Romania. We salute the efforts of IAEA and SN Nuclearelectrica for carrying out the review of a site selection compliant with the highest safety standards. This way the SMR Doicesti project is positioned as a standard for excellence in the SMR development field in Romania and Europe. We are also certain that current evaluations, recommendations, and studies will contribute and act as a catalyst for current and future SMR projects. We believe we have a solid project, and the current IAEA evaluation gives us even more confidence,” also said Melania Amuza, CEO of RoPower Nuclear.


As we mark the milestone of the successfully completed IAEA SEED Follow-up Mission, we see this review as good progress in our current work and a commitment to innovation, and sustainability in advancing Romania’s nuclear energy capabilities. The development of the SMR Project (462 MW installed capacity) will contribute to Romania’s energy security, decarbonization targets, simultaneously providing local development, complementarity to renewable sources and regional positioning.






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