Italian team signed up to expand Romania’s nuclear plant

The agreement was signed in Rome today
Italy’s Ansaldo Energia Group and financier Sace have signed a memorandum of understanding to extend the life of Unit 1 of Romania’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant and to develop two more reactors, units 3 and 4.

Ansaldo said the agreement with Romanian utility Nuclearelectrica aims to structure a financing line of up to €2bn to carry out the work.

The deal was signed yesterday at the Ministry of Business in Rome, in the presence of Adolfo Urso, Italy’s business minister, and Stefan-Radu Oprea, Romania’s economic minister.

Cernavoda currently has two Canadian-designed 700MW Candu 6 reactors, which came into operation in 1996 and 2007.

Each has a design life of 30 years. Together they supply about a fifth of Romania’s electricity.

Ansaldo Nucleare helped set up their generating systems.

By the end of 2026, it will begin engineering and procuring components for the life extension of Unit 1, in collaboration with AtkinsRéalis and Korea’s KHNP (see further reading).

In parallel, Nuclearelectrica intends to complete units 3 and 4 based on the design of Unit 2. Ansaldo Nucleare aims to involve the entire Italian nuclear supply chain in this project.

Cosmin Ghita, Nuclearelectrica’s chief executive, said the programme of works at Cernavoda would supply 66% of Romania’s clean energy by 2031.

He said: “Nuclearelectrica’s nuclear expansion investments will greatly benefit Romania’s long-term energy security, reliability and value chain socio-economic development, from Romanian suppliers’ chain growth to job creation and a new generation of nuclear specialists.

“Our partnership with Ansaldo Nucleare is based on performance and professionalism going back to the beginning of the commissioning of unit 1, therefore we are looking forward to continuing this partnership for the new units”

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