EIB announces financing for nuclear safety project in Romania

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica SA (Nuclearelectrica) have signed a loan agreement of €145 million to support the construction of Europe’s first Tritium Removal Facility (CTRF) at Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant (Cernavoda NPP). The CTRF will remove the tritium from reactor’s coolant and moderator, resulting in increased protection of the environment, public and employees’ occupational health and safety, in full alignment with Nuclearelectrica’s and Europe’s ESG objectives.

The project will enhance the radiation safety of the power plant, further reduce the volume of radioactive wastes, prioritising the well-being of the workers and allowing for the coolant and moderator to be re-used, after tritium removal. Successful completion of the project will allow for regular maintenance, refurbishments, and eventually decommissioning to be undertaken more easily, safely and efficiently.

“The EIB is financing sustainable energy projects worldwide and we are glad to support this project with health, safety and circular economy benefits undertaken by an experienced promoter.” said EIB Vice-President Kyriacos Kakouris.

Cosmin Ghiță, chief executive officer of Nuclearelectrica, added: “This project is part of our investment plan that will bring the developments in the nuclear sector in line with national energy policy. Using a Romanian innovative technology, developed by the Romanian National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenic and Isotopic Separation Technologies (ICSI Rm. Valcea), Cernavoda Tritium Removal Facility (CTRF) will be the world’s third and Europe’s first Tritium Removal Facility and will give Romania the opportunity to become a European hub for tritium production and export – the fuel candidate of future clean fusion reactors. We are happy to implement a Romanian innovative technology, based on years of research and development, a true statement of Romania’s leadership in nuclear industry.”

The EIB’s approach to nuclear projects was defined in its Energy Lending Criteria 2013 and has remained unchanged since. The Bank adopts a technology neutral approach in line with the European Union’s decarbonisation goal and the objectives of ensuring security of energy supply and competitiveness in an environmentally sustainable, cost-efficient, effective, safe and socially acceptable way.

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