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Lulache: Nuclear energy will play a constant and substantial role in the future


Nuclear energy will play a constant and substantial role in the future, and Nuclearelectrica annual investments stand at 50 - 100 million euro, Nuclearelectrica CEO Daniela Lulache told the conference "Investments for Romania's energy safety" this Thursday. 

"Regardless which Romania's targeted energy mix will be and whatever the scenarios through which Romania will try to achieve its goals, nuclear energy will play a constant and substantial role in the future. We make substantial investments every year in nuclear power, in nuclear safety. Nuclearelectrica's annual investments are in the range of 50 - 100 million euro. All this money primarily translates in nuclear safety, and in optimal production in the second place," said Lulache. 

According to her, preparations for upgrading Unit 1 of the Cernavoda Nuclear power plant have been under way since 2013 and works should take place in the period 2025 - 2026 with an estimated investment of 1.2 - 1.5 billion euros. 

"The upgrading works should take place in 2025 - 2026, requiring the shutdown of Unit 1 for about one year and a half, or two years, with an estimated investment of 1.2 - 1.5 billion euro. For the project to unfold optimally we must have the approved project, complete with the financing structure, until 2018. For now we are within schedule, the big issue that will constantly arise is that of feasibility. Although the upgrading of Unit 1 will provide us with an as good as new nuclear unit, because this is about doubling service life at an estimated cost of 30-40 percent of the cost of a new reactor, attracting additional funding under the current market conditions could be challenge," said Lulache.

She mentioned that Cernavoda Units 1 and 2 run on technology that complies with all nuclear safety standards, as will the planned Units 3 and 4. 

"It is proven robust technology. In time we have clearly demonstrated that we know how to operate these units at the highest safety standards. Yet the financing issue stays open," says Lulache. 

Regarding Cernavoda plant Units 3 and 4 Lulache estimated that the project company will be set up in early 2017 and construction works could then start in three years at the most. 

"This is a viable calendar provided that all parties involved in the project do their job," she said, insisting on financing duly flowing in.