Commercial operation for Cernavoda 2

12 October 2007

Romania's second nuclear power reactor has entered commercial operation as owner Nuclearelectrica prepares to examine tenders for the completion of two more.

Cernavoda 2 is a 700 MWe pressurized heavy-water reactor of the AECL Candu 6 design. It was completed by a consortium of AECL and Ansaldo under a contract signed in 2003.

A ceremony held to mark official start of its service on 5 October was attended by prime minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and the Canadian and Italian ambassadors, Marta Moszczenska and Daniele Mancini.

Popescu-Tariceanu said Cernavoda was "a key element of our Romanian power system which is a safe and reliable one and would be able to supply competitive electricity."

The first reactor at the plant has now been operating for 11 years, providing 9% of the country's electricity. It has recently completed a record run of 300 days uninterrupted operation and boasts annual capacity factors usually above 85%. In the first four months of 2007 Cernavoda 1 achieved 101.6% of its design output.

Now, with two such units, the Cernavoda plant will account for around 17% of Romanian electricity. It makes state-owned Nuclearelectrica the largest power producer in Romania.

Nuclearelectrica is currently receiving tenders from companies interested in taking part in the completion of Cernavoda units 3 and 4. As of today, some 37 companies have aquired the technical documents necessary to compile a tender. International companies included the AECL-Ansaldo consortium, RWE Power, Electrabel, Enel, CEZ, Iberdrola, BNP Paribas, SNC Lavalin and Endesa. Romanian companies included AFEN, ALRO, Electrica, BRD, Mittal Steel, Lafarge, Energy Holding, Tenaris Silcotub, Fondul Proprietatea, Axor Europe, Eviva Energy, Romib, Tess Conex, Grivco and  Tender.

Nuclearelectrica said that selection of companies would swiftly follow the deadline and that it expects the project company to would be set up and registered in March or April 2008. That company would then decide the contract model and financing procedures before selecting main contractors.

Kim Jong Shin, President of Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) visted Cernavoda in early September and expressed his company's interest in the new reactor project, saying the nuclear industry is a development driver. KHNP operates four Candu PHWRs at Wolsong which entered service in 1983, 1997, 1998 and 1999.

It is thought that Cernavoda units 3 and 4 could enter operation in 2014 and 2015.

Further information

Nuclearelectrica

WNA's Nuclear Power in Romania information paper

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