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Cernavoda - Tritium Removal Facility



Project number:


Business sector:

Notice type:


ESIA disclosed:

12 Aug 2021


Passed Final Review, Pending Approval

Project description

The proposed project is to construct a tritium removal facility (TRF) at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant, owned by S.N. Nuclearelectrica SA, the Romanian state-owned nuclear power company.

Nuclearelectrica operates two CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) units at its Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant (Cernavoda NPP): Unit 1 commissioned in 1996 and Unit 2 commissioned in 2007. CANDU type reactors, of which these are the only examples operating in Europe, use heavy water (deuterium oxide) as a moderator and coolant. Over time, the radioactive hydrogen isotope tritium accumulates in the heavy water.

Cernavoda NPP has accumulated increasing volumes of such radioactive, tritiated water in the reactors. An essential part of the decommissioning of the plant is therefore the safe treatment of the tritiated water by removing the tritium and placing it into safe, long-term storage. The alternative to this treatment is to store large volumes of highly radioactive water in tanks on-site for many decades. This carries potential environmental risks as well as being very costly.

The proposed construction of a tritium removal facility (TRF) at Cernavoda NPP will extract tritium from the tritiated heavy water. The process will result in stable, non-radioactive heavy water and a very small volume of concentrated tritium which can be stored to ensure its containment according to the applicable existing nuclear safety regulations. In addition, the processed heavy water can be reused as the moderator and coolant again. This will save the energy for the production of new heavy water.
The Project will focus on environmental improvement and entails:

(i) the management of radioactive waste as it will reduce the amount of radioactive material, avoiding the hazards of storing it in large containers on the site;

(ii) improvement of operational safety by reducing the exposure to radiation for the staff working in the plant; and

iii) ensuring compliance with the applicable regulatory regime.

ESIA disclosure package

  • ESIA and ESMP
  • Non-technical summary
  • Stakeholder Engagement Plan
  •  Environmental and Social Action Plan

Download zip file of package: English | Romanian

Errata Sheet for ESIA - EnglishRomanian

Full ESIA availability

Romanian Version | English version

Address 1: Strada Polona, Nr. 65, Sector 1
Bucharest.  Romania.
Contact telephone: +40 212 038 200


Address 2: Information Centre, Strada Unirii, Bloc R4b, Ground Floor, Cernavoda. Romania.
Contact telephone: +40 241 235 073


EBRD Resident Office in Romania

Metropolis Centre
56-60, Iancu de Hunedoara Bd.,
3rd floor, West Wing
Sector 1, Bucharest. Romania
Contact telephone: +40 21 202 7100


Environmental and Social Enquiries

Contact person: Ms. Valentina Dinu, S.N. Nuclearelectrica
Contact telephone: +40 21 203 8277

This document was prepared at an early stage of project development, before consideration by the EBRD Board of Directors. Details of a project may change following disclosure.

Environmental and Social Impact Assessments and ESIA summaries are produced by project sponsors, and the EBRD makes them available without any comment or implied endorsement. Any views expressed or statements made in the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment or the ESIA Summary do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the EBRD.

Last updated 25 June 2014

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