Romania 'counting on' Areva for nuclear power plant: report
Romania is counting on expertise from French nuclear group Areva to plan construction of its new nuclear power station, Economy Minister Adriean Videanu told the Adevarul daily on Thursday.
"We should quickly take a decision about the second nuclear power station. That's why we're counting on the expertise of French specialists (from Areva) about the choice of a site," Videanu told the paper.
Bucharest has been looking at various sites for the power station in Transylvania, but "we want these studies to be validated by our French partners before setting up a company to build this project," Videanu said.
Complementing the Cernavoda facility in southeast Romania, the new power plant in the heart of the country has been forecast to start operations in 2020 -- although delays could put the opening back by 10 years.
France has proposed to cooperate on the project, while President Traian Basescu has promised that Bucharest will go for a "European technology," according to the office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
A second nuclear power station would boost energy independence in Romania, one of the European Union's least developed member states, but environmental groups have denounced the idea as "an unacceptable risk".
© 2010 AFP