United States Supports Education and Training of Next Generation Advanced Civil Nuclear Workforce through Launch of Small Modular Reactor Control Room Simulator in Romania
On Friday, May 12, the U.S. Ambassador to Romania Kathleen Kavalec, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ann Ganzer joined Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu, Politechnica University Rector Mihnea Costoiu, and industry executives to officially launch the first NuScale Energy Exploration (E2) Center outside the United States at University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania. The E2 Center, a simulator of NuScale Power’s VOYGR™ small modular reactor (SMR) power plant control room, will educate and train the next generation of nuclear engineers to operate advanced civil nuclear reactor technologies while establishing Romania as a regional educational and training hub for the next stage of civil nuclear deployments across Romania and Europe. According to the press release, it will provide an innovative learning environment supporting workforce development and offer users a hands-on opportunity to apply nuclear science and engineering principles through simulated, real-world nuclear power plant operation scenarios.
The E2 Center simulator fulfills the commitment made by Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, at the Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26). As part of the “Nuclear Futures Package,” the Under Secretary announced an SMR simulator to support Romania’s ambitious civil nuclear energy program and stated a desire to be an SMR hub in the region. With more than 26 years of experience in safe nuclear power operations and performance, Romania is an ideal partner in deploying the first SMR in Europe. This technical assistance builds upon the U.S.-Romania Intergovernmental Agreement for Cooperation on Romania’s civil nuclear power program (IGA), signed in December 2020, cementing a multi-decade relationship on civil nuclear advancement.
Participating partners for the E2 Center include a multinational consortium from NuScale, SN Nuclearelectrica, RoPower, and Politehnica University. The Center is supported by the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) capacity-building program. FIRST supports Romania’s leadership in being a trailblazer in Europe to deploy SMR technology and in training the workforce of the future to advance climate action, energy security, and energy access throughout Europe and the world.
The United States is committed to supporting innovative clean energy technologies to power global decarbonization efforts and providing options to achieve net zero transition in hard-to-abate energy sectors.