January 25, 2022

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Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis Announce Romania’s Intent to Build First-of-a-Kind U.S. Small Modular Reactor to Address the Climate Crisis

17 min read

Office of the Spokesperson

Today, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis announced Romania’s intent to build a first-of-a-kind U.S. small modular reactor (SMR) plant.  By deploying U.S. innovative clean technology first, Romania is taking an initial step—but a huge technological leap—in advancing climate action and clean energy access throughout a critical part of Europe and the world.  This multi-billion-dollar effort showcases U.S. ingenuity, creates thousands of jobs in both countries, strengthens European energy security, supports the highest standards for nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation, and, importantly, addresses the climate crisis with clean power.

Many countries are identifying nuclear energy as a key component of their climate plans.  SMRs offer lower costs, scalability and flexibility, and are easily integrated with other clean energy sources.  They can be deployed to match the specific needs of a country’s power grid, with the ability to scale up quickly as demand dictates. Finally, SMRs can also play a critical role in decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors beyond power generation. They can be used for clean hydrogen production, industrial process heat, and desalinated water to meet decarbonization goals, air quality standards, and clean water needs.

This pioneering initial step by Romania will build significant momentum for reducing emissions across Europe.  With 30 coal power plants in the region, including seven in Romania, SMRs are ideally suited to replace this baseload power and employ many of the same workforce.  We are excited about this partnership with Romania in advancing emerging clean technologies.

For more information, please contact the Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation press team @ISN-Press-DL.

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