Romania’s new Cernavoda Unit 2 CANDU 6 nuclear power plant sustained a fission reaction for the first time this month.

The plant, located approximately 165 km east of Bucharest, is the second in a series of 700 MW CANDU 6 plants that began construction in the early 1980s and is owned by Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica (SNN), Romania’s nuclear public utility.

A series of low power tests of the reactor’s major components and operating systems will be conducted over the next several weeks before the reactor’s power levels are increased in anticipation of full commercial operation.

Developer AECL’s senior vice president and chief operating officer Dr. Ken Petrunik commented: “We are now looking ahead to the next two major and final commissioning events – synchronization to Romania’s power grid and achieving 100% power later this summer.”

A consortium of AECL and Ansaldo Energie of Italy, along with the SNN, were contracted in 2003 to manage the construction of the partially completed Unit 2 power plant and to commission it into service.

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