The United States will provide $14 million toward a front-end engineering and design study that will provide the basis for deploying a small modular reactor, known as an SMR, to Romania. President Joe Biden made the announcement at the recent G7 Leader’s Summit as part of the Administration’s commitment to execute the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, the G7’s plan aimed at narrowing infrastructure gaps around the world.
SMR’s are advanced nuclear reactors with factory- made portable components that can be assembled on site, vastly cutting costs of building traditional nuclear power plants, and they can generate a large amount of low-carbon electricity.
The U.S. State Department called the $14 million commitment “another milestone in in the United States’ support for clean energy innovation as part of global efforts to combat climate change.” The U.S. will be partnering with the Oregon-based firm NuScale Power, which will be constructing the SMR for Romania.
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said, “Nuclear energy, including small modular reactors, represent a critical tool in the fight against climate change and can also enhance energy security and boost economic prosperity.”
The site for the proposed SMR plant in Romania has both symbolic and practical dimensions. It is a shuttered coal-fired power plant in the city of Doicesti. Repurposing the plant means no new land has to be acquired; existing water sources, as well as rail and road connectivity, are available; and the local community will benefit from the jobs that will be created.
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Robin Dunnigan praised Romania as “an exemplary partner” in the U.S. and Romania’s mutual pursuit of transatlantic peace and security, as well as global efforts to combat climate change.
“Through its pledge to deploy U.S. small modular reactor technology,” she declared, “Romania is not only reinforcing its strong relationship with the United States through civil-nuclear cooperation, but also setting an example for others to follow on the capabilities of clean energy technologies and advanced nuclear reactors to facilitate our transition away from fossil fuels.”