Nuclear field in RomaniaNuclear energy

Nuclear energy

Since the decision to use nuclear energy in order to produce electrical power up to the connection of the first nuclear capacity at national power grid, it has been covered a long and difficult way, in which Romania developed a CANDU type nuclear chain, including not only a nuclear power plant but also industrial facilities to produce the nuclear fuel and the heavy water necessary for nuclear power plant’s operation.

In 1968 the first National Nuclear Programme was approved, having as main objective the building of nuclear power plants.

In May 1979, a contract between ROMENERGO and AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd) was signed covering the licence for CANDU-6 design, equipment supply, and technical assistance for Cernavoda NPP – Unit 1.

17 years had to pass up to the operation of the first Unit of Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant.

Currently, the nuclear power system in Romania consists in the following:

Operating Power Reactors:

Reactors Model Power (MWe) Commissioning
Cernavoda Unit 1 CANDU 6 655 1996
Cernavoda Unit 2 CANDU 6 655 2007
Total (2) 1310 MWe

Cernavoda Units 1&2 are owned by S.N. Nuclearelectrica S.A. and are operated by Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant. Currently, they generate almost 18% of Romania’s electricity need.

Power reactors in course of completion:

Reactors Model Power (MWe) Commissioning
Cernavoda Unit 3 CANDU 6 720 2016
Cernavoda Unit 4 CANDU 6 720 2017
Total (2) 1440 MWe

In order to complete these Units, a model of a Project Company has been selected, in the frame of a partnership between the Romanian state through Nuclearelectrica and private investors. The six selected investors who have submitted bidding offers are: Arcelor Mittal Romania who owns 6.2% of the shares in the future company, CEZ from the Czech Republic – 9.15%, ENEL Italy – 9.15%, GDF Suez – 9.15%, Iberdrola Spain – 6.2%, and RWE Germany – 9.15%, while the Romanian state owns 51% of the shares.

After several negotiation phases that took place in 2008, on November 20, 2008 the documents (Investors Agreement and Association Documents) were signed by the investors in the process of establishing the new company, entitled SC EnergoNuclear SA, responsible for the construction, commissioning and operation of Cernavoda NPP Units 3 and 4.

600-PHWR CANDU type reactors use natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as coolant and moderator.

Fascicule combustibil nuclear tip CANDU Nuclear Fuel Plant Pitesti

FCN was qualified by AECL in 1994 and remains the only such plant producing CANDU fuel outside Canada. It has a sufficient capacity to supply the fuel necessary for the operation of Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant.

The high quality of the domestic nuclear fuel produced in Romania was proven by its behavior and performance during the reactors operation period.


The heavy water necessary for the operation of Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant, is produced by the Romanian Nuclear Activities Authority, at its subsidiary company ROMAG-PROD.

This facility is the producing nuclear grade heavy water plant with the largest capacity in the world.

All the activities related to heavy water production process: designing, manufacturing, operation have been elaborated under a Quality Assurance regime intended to provide a safe and reliable plant operation.