Nuclear fuel plant to double production next year

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - The nuclear fuel plant in Pitesti will double production between 2010 and 2011 to supply the nuclear fuel bundles needed by the two new reactors of the Cernavoda power complex, informed Nuclearelectrica, the company supervising the plant.

A year before the Unit 3 starts to function, the plant will produce 15,000 nuclear fuel bundles and before the Unit 4 is completed, it will climb to 20,000 bundles. The plant produced last year 9,360 bundles.

The uranium production decreased constantly over the last decade, as several plants became unprofitable or ran out of ore and shut down.

While Romania's energetic strategy for 2007-2020 mentions that the remaining uranium ores will support the functioning of two nuclear-electric units at Cernavoda for eight years, Nuclearelectrica officials declared that the reserve will hold for 10 years.

Thus, the company plans to buy uranium from the international market from countries like Canada, Australia or Kazakhstan.

The nuclear fuel plant now employs 422 people and is not thinking about layoffs.

Nuclearelectrica was established in 1998 and operates a nuclear-electric power plant in Cernavoda and a nuclear fuel one in Pitesti. Each of the two reactors at Cernavoda have an installed power of about 700 MW. Two additional ones are to be built by 2015, with a similar power.

The company produces 18 percent of the country's required electricity and stands between the leader in the field Hidroelectrica and the three energetic complexes in Oltenia (Turceni, Rovinari and Craiova).


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