Nuclear Energy Agency Director-General William D. Magwood, IV, led a mission to Romania this month during which he met with the leaders of government, industry, education and others to discuss the country’s growing role in the sector.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca, DG Magwood congratulated the Prime Minister on the progress his government has made in its application for OECD membership and commended the country on its active participation in NEA activities and its dedication to a safe and economic use of nuclear energy. Romania is planning to double its nuclear power capacity to four reactors in the coming decade, which will help mitigate global warming and improve national energy security.
The country is also looking to build some of the first small modular reactors (SMRs) in Europe. State-owned operator Nuclearelectrica is working with US company NuScale to construct six SMRs this decade. SMRs and other advanced reactor technologies are considered key to the development and expansion of nuclear energy as a secure source of low-carbon energy.
“Romania is showing real commitment to developing nuclear energy, particularly the advanced reactors that will be integral to the sector’s future and the world’s effort to reach net zero by 2050,” said Mr Magwood.
At the meeting at the Victoria Palace in Bucharest, Mr Ciuca noted how investment in nuclear energy will also provide new business opportunities and jobs while increasing energy security at a time of rapid change.
Mr Magwood highlighted the need to ensure a steady supply of professionals in the nuclear sector to maintain competency and expertise in nuclear regulation and waste management in the years to come.
Romania will host two NEA workshops this year, including one mentorship event that allows technical experts to share insights with students. Underscoring its interest in nuclear education, Romania was this year formally accepted as the 11th member of the NEA’s Nuclear Education, Skills and Technology (NEST) Framework, which promotes knowledge transfer through training and international projects.
DG Magwood and Nuclear and Radioactive Waste Agency (ANDR) President Mihăiță Găină, 5 May
Such activities were parts of the talks Mr Magwood held with representatives of Romania’s educational system during an event hosted by the Politechnica University of Bucharest. The Director-General also met with, among others, officials from the ministries of foreign affairs and energy as well as the heads of operator Nuclearelectrica, regulator CNCAN, waste management organisation ANDR and the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Antena 3 interview, 5 May
In a series of media interviews Mr Magwood acknowledged how geopolitical uncertainties have grown in Europe and underscored the work that has gone into ensuring the safety and security of nuclear power installations.