The Romanian nuclear industry expects Cernavoda 2 to begin commercial operation in July and government approval for the completion of units 3 and 4 within days.
Teodor Chirica, CEO of state generator Nuclearelectrica, said that Cernavoda 2 was in the final commissioning stage. After receiving permission from regulators, it had achieved 5% power and would progress to 100% and full commercial operation in July.
He also stated that before the end of June the Romanian government would approve the completion of units 3 and 4. Chirica was speaking at a London meeting, Nuclear New Build: The Role of the Private Sector, on 27 June.
The Cernavoda plant was originally intended to host five Canadian Candu pressurized heavy water reactors of 633 MWe each. Construction on units 2-5 has halted in 1991 in order to concentrate on unit 1, which entered commercial operation at the end of 1996. It now provides 10% of the country's electricity.
The government decided to resume work on unit 2 in 2000. After some upgrades during completion, unit 2 is rated at 655 MWe.
Negotiations to assemble a commercial consortium for the completion of units 3 and 4 are underway. It is expected that a project company would be formed and work begin in March 2008.
Chirica said the 64 month completion project would cost Eur2.2 billion ($3.0 billion), not including the cost of capital, but would result in two 720 MWe units with 30-40 year lives. He projected the cost of electricity generation by the units would be between Eur28.2-32.5 per MWh ($38.1-43.7).The units would be constructed in parallel with a gap of "a couple of months" between each unit's start-up around 2014-5.