Canada to finance Cernavodă’s reactor 1 upgrading and the construction of reactors 3 and 4


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Canada will support and finance the upgrading of reactor 1 and the construction of reactors 3 and 4 at Cernavodă, the Minister of Energy, Virgil Popescu announced after a meeting with representatives of the Canadian government.

“The bilateral meeting with Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, was a good opportunity to discuss the joint projects we have in the field of energy, especially nuclear energy. We conveyed that the rehabilitation of Unit 1 and the Project of Units 3 and 4 CNE Cernavodă are a priority, contributing to ensuring energy security and achieving decarbonization objectives. Both countries, Canada as a technology supplier and Romania as a beneficiary have a huge responsibility in managing the actions necessary to develop the Units 3 and 4 Project in a sustainable term. Minister Wilkinson told me that we have support and funding from the Canadian government for the retrofitting of reactor 1 and for the construction of reactors 3 and 4. I thanked my Canadian colleague for the support given and for the good collaboration we have,”  Virgil Popescu said in a Facebook post.

The training of a new generation of specialists in the development of the nuclear field was also discussed during the meeting. “(…) We also discussed the special importance we must give to the training of a new generation of specialists in the development of the nuclear field, and this involves not only graduates of the faculties of physics and nuclear engineering, but also from other related fields , necessary for the development of the infrastructure of nuclear facilities. Therefore, we agreed that there is a need for greater involvement and cooperation between states, but also between companies and universities. Because, as I said before, decarbonization without nuclear energy is not possible”, the minister added.

In August 2021, Romania signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Canada to strengthen and further support cooperation in civil nuclear energy projects, following a 55-year relationship between Canada and Romania in the nuclear industry. The CANDU Units project is included in Romania’s Energy Strategy, for the period 2019 – 2030, with a perspective for 2050, as well as in the Integrated National Plan in the field of Energy and Climate Change, as a pillar of Romania’s energy independence and the achievement of decarbonization objectives as a state member of the EU.

In this respect, on October 9, 2020, Romania signed an Intergovernmental Agreement on cooperation in the field of nuclear energy projects, which was later adopted d by the Romanian Parliament with a majority of votes.

At the same time, in October 2020, US Exim Bank expressed, through a Memorandum of Understanding concluded with the Ministry of Energy, its interest in financing large investment projects in Romania, including nuclear ones, in a total amount of 7 billion USD.

The two reactors at Cernavodă, currently in operation, provide approximately 20% of Romania’s energy needs. Unit 1 of CNE Cernavodă was put into commercial operation on December 2, 1996, and Unit 2 on September 28, 2007.

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