ROMANIA. The US is planning to dislodge China as the financier for two new reactors at Romania’s nuclear power plant. The power plant’s two existing reactors together provide around 17 per cent of Romania’s electricity supply
Romanian energy Minister Virgil Popescu and US counterpart Dan Brouillette had an initialled intergovernmental agreement to cooperate on the expansion and modernization of Cernavoda.
Cernavoda is a town in Romania’s southeast region which is famous for its breathtaking places. However, it is more famous as it is the home of Romania’s only nuclear plant.
Meanwhile, Bucharest will soon gain access to “US expertise and technology”. In the meantime, a multinational team will take on the work of building the new reactors and refurbishing the existing ones.
During the signing event, Washington’s ambassador to Romania, Adrian Zuckerman said, “Now we have a great clean American company, AECOM, leading this $8 billion project, with assistance from clean Romanian, Canadian and French companies”. He further added that the deal would ‘unshackle’ Romania from China’s “malign influence”.
Previously, Bucharest had broken off its agreement with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) in June. CGN had been the only company to bid when Bucharest put the project out to tender in 2014. Since then, the company has been put to US blacklist of foreign companies. US had also accused CGN of trying to steal technology for military applications.
Along with this, the distrust of Chinese investments in European countries continues to grow.
Six European companies have already stepped back from the project amid uncertainty over its future.