Electricity produced by the nuclear reactors in Cernavoda is essential for Romania.
Electricity produced by the nuclear reactors in Cernavoda, south-eastern Romania, is essential for Romania, in keeping with the draft energy strategy for up until 2035. Currently, units 1 and 2 of the power plant in Cernavoda are operational, using CANDU technology. Units 3 and 4 are planned to be finalized by 2019 and 2020 respectively, while reactor 5 is under conservation. The nominal installed power of reactors 1 and 2 is 706.5 MW each, and together they ensure some 20% of Romania’s energy consumption needs. The General Director of the Energy Department of the Romanian Government, Elena Popescu has more:
„ Nuclear energy is a major component of the energy mix, as it accounts for 20% of the energy consumed in Romania. Against the background of the new energy and environmental policies that are being drafted for 2030, nuclear energy will become even more important for Romania, just like it is and will be for other European and world countries. A centrepiece of the 2030 policy framework for climate and energy, a legislative package under debate at EU level, is the set goal of reducing EU domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below the 1990 level, by 2030. Nuclear energy plays an important role in helping Romania reach this goal. Thermal plants cover 40% of Romania’s energy. Most of them, though, exceed the greenhouse gas emissions limit and need to be upgraded or replaced. The Energy Department plans to develop some clean facilities, but even so, the 40% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions is impossible to reach without nuclear energy, in particular reactors 3 and 4 of the Cernavoda power plant.”
It should be pointed out that recently China Nuclear Power Corporation has submitted an offer for building reactors 3 and 4 at Cernavoda, an offer that will be analyzed soon by a Romanian government commission, soon enough for negotiations to be finalized by the end of the year, as announced by vice-premier Liviu Dragnea. During Chinese vice-premier Zhang Gaoli’s visit to Bucharest, he specified that construction on the two reactors might start as early as next y ear. Liviu Dragnea said that his major project would generate over a billion and a half Euro, contracts with Romanian industry, over 10,000 jobs, and important state revenues.
In the EU, some states announced they would give up nuclear energy in exchange for renewable energy, while others said they would hang on to nuclear energy, therefore we could be speaking of a competition of sorts between the two forms of energy generation. Here is the head of the Energy Department, Elena Popescu again:
“Even though a lot of people set these two energy sources in competition, I wouldn’t, I believe they are complementary, and that each has its own place within the system. Nuclear energy is stable energy, it brings stability and security within the energy system. Renewable energies are new, innovative, very much promoted by the EU, they are intermittent sources of energy. They need reserve capacity when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. I believe that Romania has to develop a good variety, in which each form of energy has its place. Our studies, in the Energy Department, target first of all the country’s energy security, enhancing our energy independence and the efficient use of the energy sources that Romania has. And for this to happen, we recommend a diversified energy mix, including renewable energy, hydro, thermo and nuclear energy.”
Nuclearelectrica, the operator of the country’s only nuclear power plant, has estimated for this year net profits of only 6.2 million euros, which is 16 times less than in 2013. The company expects revenues of 407.6 million euros this year, nearly 21% smaller than last year. Nuclearelectrica announced that “this year’s expenditure budget will be smaller than last year, and designed so as to cover the actual operation and security requirements, while taking into account the forecast decrease in revenues in 2014 compared to the previous year.”