Canada has agreed to help Romania fight climate change and reduce its reliance on Russian energy through financing, technology offerings and bilateral cooperation.
On Tuesday, both countries announced a$3 billion financing to build two Canadian CANDU-6 reactors.
Romania has ambitious plans to bolster its energy infrastructure by constructing two new Canada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) nuclear reactors at the site at Cernavoda. It promises to provide jobs within Canada’s nuclear sector and the broader power industry, fostering innovation and expertise exchange.
Additionally, the construction of these CANDU-6 reactors will play a pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions, aligning with Romania’s commitment to phasing out coal power by 2032. These reactors are set to contribute a substantial 1,400 megawatts of clean, non-emitting electricity production capacity to Romania’s energy grid, reinforcing its energy independence and sustainability.
This project also holds strategic importance in bolstering Romania’s role as a regional energy hub, enhancing energy security in the face of potential Russian energy pressures. Additionally, it opens avenues for supporting neighbouring countries like Moldova and Ukraine in their energy needs.
“The export financing announced today to support our Romanian partners will support the creation of new good jobs and economic activity in Canada,” said Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson.
“The new Cernavoda reactors will leverage Canadian CANDU technology to deliver clean and reliable power to communities while contributing to Canada’s efforts to support European energy security. Canadian nuclear expertise will continue to play an important role in helping the world accelerate to a clean and secure energy future.”
The unwarranted invasion of Ukraine by Russia has emphasized the urgency for Romania and other European nations to diminish their dependence on Russian energy sources and enhance their energy security. Canada is taking proactive measures to assist in securing Europe’s energy future during times of potential supply shortages in response to the situation in Ukraine.
Canada has a long history of nuclear cooperation with Romania
As an EU member state and a dedicated NATO ally positioned on the eastern flank, Canada enjoys strategic and mutually beneficial bilateral relations with Romania. These relations encompass various areas, including trade, investment, security and defense. Notably, the connection between Canada and Romania in the realm of nuclear energy dates back to the signing of the Canada–Romania Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) in 1977.
Romania’s aspirations to expand its nuclear energy capacity are pivotal in achieving its objective of phasing out coal-based electricity generation by 2032. The addition of CANDU-6 reactors to Romania’s energy mix is expected to contribute significantly, aiming to supply 36 percent of the country’s total electricity needs, an increase from the current 21 percent.
Canada has been instrumental in supporting this endeavor by providing export financing assistance for the construction and operation of two CANDU-6 reactors at the Cernavoda site, known as the C1 and C2 reactors. These reactors, designed by Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL), were successfully completed in 1996 and 2007, respectively, and have consistently remained operational since their inception.
Since the commencement of operations of the C2 reactor in 2007, the two-unit Cernavoda site has maintained an exemplary track record in terms of operation and safety. Remarkably, the operation of C1 and C2 reactors has resulted in the avoidance of over 170 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
The CANDU reactor represents one of the most significant research and development investments ever made by the Canadian government.