The first NuScale Energy Exploration (E2) Center outside the United States launched at University Politehnica of Bucharest

Ambassador Kavalec: The center will become a hub of activity for students focused on future careers in the civilian nuclear power industry.

Today, U.S. Ambassador to Romania Kathleen Kavalec and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ann Ganzer joined Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu, Politechnica University Rector Mihnea Costoiu, and industry executives to officially launch the first NuScale Energy Exploration (E2) Center outside the United States at University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, the E2 Center, a simulator of the NuScale Power’s VOYGR™ small modular reactor (SMR) power plant control room, “will educate and train the next generation of nuclear engineers to operate advanced civil nuclear reactor technologies while establishing Romania as a regional educational and training hub for the next stage of civil nuclear deployments across Romania and Europe. It will provide an innovative learning environment that supports workforce development and 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 simulator fulfills the commitment made by Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, at the Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26).  As part of the “Nuclear Futures Package,” the Under Secretary announced a SMR simulator to support Romania’s ambitious civil nuclear energy program and stated desire to be a SMR hub in the region.  Romania, with more than 26 years of experience in safe nuclear power operations and performance is an ideal partner in deploying the first SMR in Europe.  This technical assistance builds upon the U.S.-Romania Intergovernmental Agreement for cooperation on Romania’s civil nuclear power program (IGA) signed in December 2020, cementing a multi-decade relationship on civil nuclear advancement.

Participating partners for the E2 Center include a multinational consortium from NuScale, SN Nuclearelectrica, RoPower, and Politehnica University.  The Center is supported by the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) capacity building program.  FIRST supports Romania’s leadership in being a trailblazer in Europe to deploy SMR technology, and in training the workforce of the future to advance climate action, energy security, and energy access throughout Europe and the world.

The United States is committed to supporting the use of innovative clean energy technologies to power global decarbonization efforts and providing options to achieve net zero transition in hard-to-abate energy sectors,” reads a press release by the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest.

“Today marks a historic moment for Romania, a new benchmark in our bilateral Strategic Partnership, and an incredible step forward in civilian nuclear technology. Our strategic partnership with Romania was greatly strengthened by the Intergovernmental Agreement signed in late 2020,” said U.S. Ambassador, Kathleen Kavalec, attending the launching event.

According to the Americna ambassador to Romania, this agreement paved the way for the deployment of NuScale’s VOYGR, 6-module, 462-megawatt, power plant in Doicesti. With a projected opening date of 2029, this will be Europe’s first SMR – a Small Modular Reactor plant — and a milestone for clean energy innovation.

This center we just toured will become a hub of activity for students focused on future careers in the civilian nuclear power industry.  How fortunate you are to have this phenomenal resource during your studies and training. 

The SMR simulator we are inaugurating today is a result of strong and successful cooperation among Nuclearelectrica, the Ministry of Energy, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Energy, NuScale Power, and others. 

I thank all the people and parties involved for their vision, commitment, and support for this project and to bringing us to this point.

The SMR simulator 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 simulator employs state-of-the-art computer modeling within a replica 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 and learn about the revolutionary safety and smarter features unique to NuScale’s technology. 

It is wonderful for to see Romania utilizing cutting-edge U.S. nuclear technology, which is one more indicator of how far our partnership has come. 

The SMR simulator will be a valuable tool for both students and professionals alike as we prepare for the construction and operation of the SMR plant in Doicesti.  The simulator will also help Romania become a hub for SMR technology in the region and far beyond, as well as a base for supporting the operating  of this new technology in other countries,” ambassador Kavalec stated.

The U.S. diplomat also pointed that the E2 Center also showcases our shared commitment to advancing nuclear energy as a safe, reliable, and carbon-free source of electricity. 

“Nuclear energy is essential for meeting our climate goals and ensuring our energy security.  SMRs offer a flexible, scalable, and cost-effective solution that can complement renewable sources and provide clean power to remote areas.

I know that this E2 Center will inspire and educate the next generation of nuclear experts, technologists, and operators in Romania and beyond. 

I encourage everyone to visit the center and experience it for yourselves.  It is amazing! I hope you will enjoy this unique opportunity and learn more about the benefits that SMRs bring to us all,” she concluded.

Bucharestcontrol roomengineeringnuclear energyNuScale Energy Exploration (E2) CenterNuScale Powerpower plantRomaniasciencesmall modular reactorSMRUnited Statesuniversity politehnicaVOYGR™
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