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Nuclear power: Advantage Romania

By Edwig Ban

Romania has one of the most interesting energy mixes in Europe. The hydraulic and the fossil energy each account for about 25% of all electricity production and consumption. The nuclear power has a weight of about 17%
The two reactors in operation at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant were the first from the former communists countries in Europe to borrow technology from outside Russia. The Romanian reactors are made using the Canadian CANDU model.
Now, in these years, the biggest investment of an energy company starts. Nuclearelectrica shareholders have approved the refurbishment of the CNE Cernavoda, Unit 1.
Nuclearelectrica has the goal of rebuilding Unit 1, which has been operational since 1996. The reworking preparation process will take place over a period of at least 10 years with major investment efforts to be allocated between 2020 and 2025, document prepared for investors. It is worth noting that Unit 1 would be completely shut down for 2 years, around 2021. The estimated costs of Unit 1 refurbishment are between 1.2-1.5 billion Euros.
The Nuclearelectrica representatives argue that it is necessary to shut down Unit 1 completely for up to 2 years, when most of the works and equipment replacements will take place. Preparations have begun, requiring studies, analyzes, assessments of the state of the components, definition of works, concluding contracts for design, procurement and execution, provision of the necessary financing, etc. The upgrading allows the life of Unit 1 to be extended for another 25 years, meaning a significant contribution to stable energy, able to cope with environmental needs and provide affordable prices to the final consumer.
Romania is prized for its nuclear facilities. According to a ranking made by the Nuclear Engineering International publication, the CNE Cernavoda units are among the top 15 of the 392 nuclear units in operation worldwide. The Unit 2 in Cernavoda ranks 1st, with a total installed capacity utilization ratio of 93.5%, while Unit 1 is ranked 14th with a coefficient of 89.4%. For the same indicator, Romania is ranked first in the world, with a power utilization factor installed since the commissioning of 91.4% nuclear units at CNE Cernavoda.

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