Romania's NuScale SMR plan gets USD275 million boost

22 May 2023

Funding of up to USD275 million to advance the deployment of a NuScale Power Corporation VOYGR small modular reactor (SMR) plant in Romania was announced at the G7 leaders' summit by the USA and "multinational public-private partners" from Japan, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

How a VOYGR-6 plant could look (Image: NuScale)

The money announced includes a Letter of Interest from the US Export-Import Bank (EXIM) for up to USD99 million from the EXIM Engineering Multiplier Program.

The funding will support procurement of "long lead materials, Phase 2 Front End Engineering and Design work, provision of project management expertise, site characterisation and regulatory analyses, and the development of site-specific schedule and budget estimates for project execution".

EXIM and the US International Development Finance Corporation also issued Letters of Interest for "potential financial support of up to USD3 billion and USD1 billion, respectively, for project deployment". The announcement was part of the G7 Leaders' plan to "mobilise USD600 billion in infrastructure investments under the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment".

NuScale and RoPower Nuclear, owned jointly by Romania's Nuclearelectrica and Nova Power and Gas, are currently conducting a FEED phase 1 study to analyse the preferred site of the first VOYGR-6 SMR power plant, which is a former coal plant in Doicesti in Romania. The new funding will support the phase 2 study which also initiates the process of securing authorisations and licenses for the project.

John Hopkins, NuScale Power president and CEO, said: "Support from the Biden Administration and international partners is a signal to energy markets around the world that NuScale SMRs are an important new technology solution to global decarbonisation and that Romania has the capabilities and experience to support its deployment ... we are thrilled public-private partnerships are helping deploy our leading SMR technology as soon as 2029."

Cosmin Ghita, Nuclearelectrica's CEO, welcomed the funding announcement, saying: "We are proud to position Romania on the strategic development map of nuclear energy projects ... we are proud that Romania will be the second country after the USA and the first in Europe to develop a NuScale VOYGR small modular reactor plant and that our project has won the trust and support of the most important financial institutions in the world."

Teofil Muresan, CEO E-INFRA, said: "We are proud that Nova Power & Gas, an E-INFRA Group company, is part of such an important project as the one in Doicesti, a project to replace an old coal-fired power plant with the most modern technology in the field of nuclear power plants - small modular reactors."

Nuclearelectrica said the partners involved in financing the project are the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, DS Private Equity (Korea), EXIM Bank Romania, Nuclearelectrica, Nova Power & Gas, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), DFC and US EXIM. It noted that ENEC’s involvement was the first collaborative measure following a memorandum of understanding signed by Nuclearelectrica and ENEC in March.

The NuScale Power Module on which the VOYGR nuclear power plants are based is a pressurised water reactor with all the components for steam generation and heat exchange incorporated into a single 77 MWe unit. It is the first SMR design to receive approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The company offers a 12-module VOYGR-12 power plant capable of generating 924 MWe as well as the four-module VOYGR-4 (308 MWe) and six-module VOYGR-6 (462 MWe) plants and other configurations based on customer needs.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News