Nuclearelectrica and NuScale announce the plans to install an international center for learning opportunities in nuclear science and engineering
At the Small Modular and Advanced Reactor Workshop Planning IV held in Bucharest, co-hosted by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Nuclearelectrica and NuScale announced the partnership with Universitatea Politehnica to develop the NuScale Energy Exploration Center (“E2 Center”) in collaboration with the U.S. and the Romanian governments.
The NuScale small modular reactor (“SMR”) simulator will be installed at the University Politehnica of Bucharest to support workforce capacity building of Romania’s next generation of nuclear experts, technologists and operators. As the first simulator of a small modular reactor control room in Europe, and the 4th in the world, this collaboration highlights the rapidly growing global support for NuScale, and its recognition as a clean energy solution for the future.
This E2 Center capacity-building deployment is made possible by U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) funding under the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) program.
“We are pleased to provide Romania with a SMR simulator under our FIRST program,” said Bonnie Jenkins, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. “The E2 Center will strengthen our strategic partnership with Romania and further Romania’s goals of becoming a leader in the secure and safe deployment of SMRs and workforce development in the region.”
“We are proud Romania will accommodate the first E2 Center in Europe, an essential tool for Nuclearectrica’s first small modular reactor operators and for forming a new generation of nuclear engineers for Romania and for the region. Romania has more advantages, which qualify it as one of the first countries to deploy the first SMR in Europe: more than 25 years of experience in operating its nuclear plant at an excellent standard of nuclear safety, productivity and workforce performance. Also, Romania has a renowned school of nuclear engineers, a vast nuclear industry supply chain and an appreciated nuclear research and development center. Furthermore, Romania and the U.S. have a strong partnership in the nuclear industry going back to the early 80s. Placing the E2 Center in Politehnica University will continue our long and successful collaboration with the same goal: to form a nucleus of excellence for the nuclear industry in Romania,” said Cosmin Ghita CEO Nuclearelectrica
“We are aware that Politehnica University and engineers play a strategic role for Romania’s energy future, and this partnership is in line with the national priorities we already support. We aim to develop Romania’s capacity to produce nuclear energy. It is the first center of its kind in Europe, and the partnership we make with Nuclearelectrica and NuScale will give us the opportunity to train highly specialized professionals who can manage an independent energy network. I believe that the coming years are very important in this regard, because we have the opportunity to develop highly qualified engineers for the future energy production capacities,” said Mihnea Costoiu, rector, President Politehnica University of Bucharest.
“The E2 Center will serve as a critical workforce development tool for Nuclearelectrica and the Romanian nuclear workforce, enabling them to conduct research and training related to the use of SMRs for flexible, secure and safe operation, demonstration of real-time response to normal and off-normal conditions, and electricity generation’, said John Hopkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of NuScale. “To date, NuScale has opened three E2 Centers at U.S. universities, including Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and Texas A&M University.”
The E2 Center is an innovative learning environment that offers users a hands-on opportunity to apply nuclear science and engineering principles through simulated, real-world nuclear power plant operation scenarios. The E2 Center employs state-of-the-art computer modeling within a simulator of the NuScale SMR power plant control room. Users will have the opportunity to take on the role of “control room operator” at a 12-unit SMR plant to learn about the revolutionary safety and smarter features unique to NuScale’s technology. The installation of the E2 Center and training for the instructors who will use the center will be targeted for completion by late 2023.
This announcement is a key component of NuScale Power and Romania’s state nuclear power corporation S.N. Nuclearelectrica S.A. (“Nuclearelectrica”) teaming agreement. Under the agreement, the organizations will take steps toward deploying a first NuScale VOYGRTM 6-module, 462 MWe, power plant in Romania this decade. Romania has the potential to accommodate the first deployment of SMRs in Europe and to become a catalyst for SMRs in the region, as well as a base for supporting operatorship of this new technology in other countries.
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