Romania to continue its nuclear energy strategy: official

08:41, March 16, 2011      

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The owners of the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant said Tuesday the plant is not at risk and they will continue its nuclear energy strategy.

The Nuclearelectrica National Company, which operates the plant, said in a press release that the plant has been designed to withstand earthquakes of a magnitude higher than 8 on the Richter scale. There is no risk, however, that such a massive earthquake could hit the country, the company said.

"The highest magnitude quake that could hit Romania is 7 to 7.5 on the Richter scale," said Nuclearelectrica, adding that the maximum-magnitude earthquake considered when designing Cernavoda "could strike once in a 1,000 years."

The location of Cernavoda plant was chosen after complex seismic risk studies, Nuclearelectrica said.

According to the statement, CANDU technology used in the Cernavoda plant has a major advantage over other technologies since the potential energy quantity stored in the reactor is much lower than at other types of light-water cooled reactors.

The plant also has two large reserves of cooling water, which can provide enough cooling until normal cooling system is restored, in the event of an outage.

The operator said safety of the Cernavoda plant helped to pursue the project of building the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors and continue its energy strategy.

The power plant in the southeastern Danubean town of Cernavoda is the only nuclear plant in Romania.

The plant was designed in Canada in the 1980s and the first two units were completed in 1996 and 2007, covering nearly 18 percent of the domestic energy demand.

Another two units are in their planning stages. When finished, the four units are expected to provide up to 40 percent of Romania's total electricity.

Source: Xinhua

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