Nuclearelectrica cleared to take over CNU

19 November 2021

Romania's competition commission has said it will clear Nuclearelectrica's takeover of the country's National Uranium Company (Compania Națională a Uraniului, CNU). CNU is a state company that manages Romania's uranium resources and reserves.

Rail transport of uranium in the region of Suceava (Image: CNU)

Historically CNU mined uranium at Crucea-Botusana and refined it at Feldioara before supply to the Pitesti facility where it was used in the manufacture of fuel bundles for Nuclearelectrica's CANDU reactors at the Cernavoda power plant.

CNU ran into financial trouble in 2016 when Nuclearelectrica, which represented 80% of CNU's sales, rejected its prices and bought its uranium supply on the international market instead. The Romanian government set out a restructuring plan, which included a EUR45.8 million (USD51.8 million) annual subsidy, which was ruled unacceptable under EU rules in 2018. Two years later, the European Commission blocked Nuclearelectrica from buying CNU's refined uranium products because the price was significantly above market rates and would have represented state aid. Throughout this, Romania maintained that CNU's activities were important for energy security and supported skills that would otherwise be lost.

This year CNU has been in dialogue with workers at Crucea-Botusana over its plans to close the mine.

Yesterday the Romanian Competition Council announced that is has authorised the transaction by which Nuclearelectrica will take over CNU and the assets at Feldioara. "Following analysis, the Competition Council found that this operation does not raise significant obstacles to effective competition on the Romanian market or on a substantial part of it and that there are no serious doubts about its compatibility with a normal competitive environment," it said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News