Romania to cancel nuclear deal with Chinese company

The Romanian government has asked state-owned energy company Nuclearelectrica to end the partnership with China General Nuclear Power Corporation for the building of two new reactors at the country’s sole nuclear power plant in Cernavoda.

Nuclearelectrica, which already operates two 700-megawatt reactors at the power plant, will be examining the options of continuing the project to open two other reactors.

Nuclearelectrica informed its investors that the economy ministry, which owns 82.5% of its shares, had asked the company to introduce several topics on the agenda of an extraordinary shareholders meeting scheduled for 12 June which was set to discuss the project to build units 3 and 4 at the Cernavoda plant.

Back in 2015, Nuclearelectrica signed a Memorandum of understanding with China General Nuclear Power (CGN) for the development, construction, operation and decommissioning of the two reactors. In 2016, the US even accused CGN of nuclear espionage, but the deal with the Romanian company continued. The two parts were to form a joint venture in which the Chinese company would own the majority stake.

However, no major developments took place in the five years and in January 2020, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said the government could exit the deal with the Chinese firm.

The power plant in Cernavoda was designed in the communist era, but using the Canadian technology CANDU, unlike the other nuclear facilities in the Eastern bloc that used Soviet technology. (EURACTIV.ro)

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