May 23rd, 2022
The United States and Romania are pleased to announce a new dimension in their Strategic Partnership with the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) program. Under FIRST, the United States will provide Romania with a NuScale small modular reactor (SMR) simulator for Romania to establish an E2 Center at University Politehnica in Bucharest. The E2 Center will further Romania’s goals of becoming a leader in secure and safe SMR deployment and an SMR educational and training hub in the region. This announcement builds upon the U.S.-Romania Intergovernmental Agreement for cooperation on Romania’s nuclear power program (IGA) signed in December 2020, cementing a multi-decade relationship on civil nuclear advancement.
FIRST supports Romania’s leadership in being the first country in the region to deploy SMR technology. This is an initial step, but a huge technology leap, in advancing climate action, energy security, and energy access throughout Europe and the world.
Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Bonnie Jenkins said: “Today, I am pleased to fulfill the commitment we made in our Nuclear Futures Package which I announced at COP26 in November to provide Romania with an SMR simulator to support Romania’s ambitious nuclear energy program and goal to be a SMR hub in the region. We have no better partner in the region than Romania.”
“I am very pleased that today we start a new era by advancing Romania’s nuclear energy infrastructure with a NuScale_Power SMR simulator at University Politehnica, to support education and workforce development under the FIRST program. Romania is committed to develop the first SMR in the region and building on science, engineering and technologies skills is a guarantee that our nuclear programme on new technology will ensure the necessary expertise for setting the highest standards of nuclear safety & security. I hope that would encourage the younger generation to join the SMR development in Romania and in the region.”
Building on more than 60 years of U.S. innovation and expertise in nuclear energy, FIRST provides capacity-building support to partner countries as they develop their civil nuclear energy programs to meet clean energy needs under the highest international standards for nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation. In the 2021 Leaders’ Summit on Climate, the Biden-Harris Administration launched the FIRST program as one of the United States’ key efforts to promote innovation, bring clean technologies to scale, and build unprecedented global cooperation to confront the climate crisis.
This project is just the latest example of cooperation between the United States and Romania in a wide range of fields and comes in the year that Romania and the United States are celebrating their 25th Anniversary of the United States-Romania Strategic Partnership.