The Washington Department of Energy announced on Friday that the US would oust China as the financier for two new reactors in the only Romanian nuclear power plant.
Romanian energy minister Virgil Popescu and US counterpart Dan Brouillette initialed a “draft intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in expansion and modernization” from Cernavoda in southeastern Romania, the US energy department said in a statement.
Bucharest will have access to “US know-how and technology” while a “multinational team” will take over the work on building the new reactors and refurbishing one of the existing ones, it added.
“Now we have a great American clean company, AECom, leading this $ 8 billion project with the support of Romanian, Canadian and French clean companies,” said Washington Ambassador to Romania, Adrian Zuckerman, at the signing event.
The deal would decouple Romania from the “malevolent influence” of China, “Zuckerman said, adding that” the Communist Party’s control over every Chinese company at home and abroad is an existential threat. “
Bucharest broke off its agreement with the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) for the two new reactors in June as distrust of Chinese investments in Europe increased.
CGN was the only company that made an offer when Bucharest put the project out to tender in 2014.
It has since been placed on a U.S. blacklist of companies that Washington accused of attempting to steal technology for military applications.
Romania then promised to find a new partner among its EU or NATO allies for the Cernavoda project, which has had a difficult time getting off the ground for almost a decade.
Six European companies – GDF Suez, Iberdrola, CEZ, RWE, Enel and ArcelorMittal – withdrew from the project one by one as the future was uncertain.
The two existing reactors of the power plant together provide around 17 percent of the Romanian electricity supply.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)