Romania moves to terminate talks with Chinese partner in nuke project

Romania moves to terminate talks with Chinese partner in nuke project
By Iulian Ernst in Bucharest June 15, 2020

Romania's government has mandated the managing board of local nuclear power producer Nuclearelectrica to initiate procedures for terminating negotiations with China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) on building two new reactors at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

The government also mandated the managing board to analyse and draw up strategic options on the construction of new electricity generation capacities from nuclear sources.

The company will negotiate the termination of the agreement signed in 2015 for developing and operating units 3 and 4 at Cernavoda.  

At the end of last month, Economy Minister Virgil Popescu said that the collaboration with the Chinese company couldn't continue as it has yielded no results in seven years.

"We have a strategic partnership with the US, and we hold on to it, we respect our partners. We are members of the EU and Nato. Aside from that, I think that seven years since this collaboration with the Chinese company began is enough to realise that we can't move on," Popescu said at that time.

Liberal Prime Minister Ludovic Orban announced in January that the government would exit the deal with its Chinese partner. He invoked the European Union's Green Deal rather than security issues or cost concerns circulated previously as the main reason behind a potential end of the deal with CGN to expand Romania's only nuclear power plant.

In August last year, the US included CGN on a blacklist for allegedly trying to get nuclear technology from the US to be used for military purposes in China.