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Nuclear power, with 20% of national consumption, provides Romania a balanced energy mix

>>> The modernization of Cernavoda Reactor 1, a project with a very well-founded economic sense

By Edwig Ban
The priority of the nuclear energy industry in Romania is the refurbishment of Unit 1, said Cozmin Ghita, general manager of the National Power Company Nuclearelectrica. Together with the development of Units 3 and 4, Unit 1 technology has a very well-founded economic sense in Romania's energy industry.
'Nuclearelectrica is currently the Romanian energy producer that prepares the largest investment projects in the refurbishment of Unit 1, for which we have received the approval to start the first phase and the internal organization for planning and executing under nuclear safety standards at international standards the largest, which Romania has performed so far. We also have outlines 3 and 4, a project with an impact on the energy system. Romania has sustained and operated through a balanced energy mix and is the country that has managed to achieve the fastest decarbonisation rate achieved by the 20-20-20 target. The Units 3 and 4 development project needs a support mechanism. I welcome the initiative of the Ministry of Energy to launch a call for tender to carry out a study with such a mechanism. In order to make investments in Units 3 and 4, we must take into account that the most important resource that we have at our disposal is the human resource. Our zero priority, besides outlining projects 3 and 4, is Unit 1 technology. This project has a very well-founded economic sense and further supports the contribution of nuclear energy to the Romanian Energy System with the 1,400 MW installed, Ghiţă said.
The Nuclearelectrica representative also underlined that "in the context of the new European legislation on decarbonisation of the energy industry and also in the context of the OECD provisions, nuclear energy and investment in this area is a safe solution to ensure constant production in the energy system" mentioned Cozmin Ghita.
According to Nuclearelectrica, the Cernavoda nuclear power plant ensures the safe operation of Nuclear Units 1 and 2, each with an installed output of 700 MW. The two Cernavoda reactors provide about 20% of Romania's energy needs.
The Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant uses CANDU 6 Canadian technology (Canadian Deuterium Uranium) using natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as moderator and cooling agent.
The Unit 1 of Cernavoda NPP was put into commercial operation on 2 December 1996 and Unit 2 on 28 September 2007.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Romania, through its two units in operation at Cernavoda NPP, occupies the first place out of a total of 454 nuclear units in 30 countries with a capacity factor averaged over the last three years of 94%, and the first of a total of 566 nuclear units in 32 countries, with a capacity factor from commissioning 91.9% by the end of 2016.

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