Representatives of the US and Romanian ministries of energy gave a joint press conference at which they announced plans to build a new type of nuclear power plant, according to The New York Times. If a formal agreement is signed, by the end of the decade, Romania will be the first country in Europe, and perhaps in the world, to have a small modular reactor - cheaper and easier to manufacture than traditional nuclear reactors. The new nuclear power plant will be located on the site of a former thermal power plant in Deutschetu, 90 kilometers northwest of Bucharest. The project belongs to the American startup NuScale Power, which proposed to assemble relatively small reactors in factories, and then assemble the modules together directly on the site.
The meaning of the innovation is to reduce costs and construction time. If conventional nuclear power plants now cost at least 10 billion dollars, then a six-module Romanian one will cost 1.6 billion. It is expected to generate 462 megawatts of electricity - the equivalent of a conventional medium-sized power plant - and provide continuous work for 193 people. Finally, the new nuclear power plant will help Romania reduce carbon dioxide emissions by four million tons per year.
Similar projects are also being developed in France and the UK, but projects there are at an earlier stage.