Cernavoda - Tritium Removal Facility



Project number:


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Approval date:

12 Jan 2022


Concept Reviewed

PSD disclosed:

08 Oct 2021

Project Description

Senior unsecured corporate loan of up to EUR 150 million to S.N. Nuclearelectrica S.A. to finance the construction of a tritium removal facility (the Project).

Project Objectives

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.

By now Cernavoda NPP has accumulated high volumes of such radioactive, tritiated water in its reactors.  Removal of the tritium and placing it in safe, long-term storage, is an essential part of the decommissioning process.  The alternative to this treatment is to store large volumes of highly radioactive water in tanks on-site for many decades. This would be very costly and entail potential environmental risks.

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.  The concentrated tritium can then more easily be stored to ensure its containment according to the applicable nuclear safety regulations. In addition, the processed heavy water can be reused as moderator and coolant, saving energy for the production of new heavy water.

The Project will focus on environmental improvement. This entails the following: i) the management of radioactive waste by reducing the amount of radioactive material and avoiding the hazards of storing it in large containers on site; ii) improvement of operational safety by reducing exposure to radiation for the staff working in the plant; and iii) ensuring compliance with the applicable regulations.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 64


1) Improving health and safety standards: The Project will result in safer management of radioactively contaminated moderator and coolant by reducing the amount of radioactive material, avoiding the hazards of transporting it over long distances and storing it in large tanks on site. As a result, exposure of the staff to radiation doses will be reduced and the operational safety of the plant improved.

2) Water savings: The tritium removal process of the facility will enable recycling of treated heavy water. Nuclearelectrica buys on average 10 tons of new heavy water per year, which will be saved by using the facility.

3) Energy consumption savings: The estimated energy consumption in the tritium removal process is approximately 5% of the energy consumption for equivalent amount of new heavy water production.

Client Information


Nuclearelectrica is the Romanian state-owned nuclear power company operating the 1,412 MW Cernavoda nuclear power plant. The company is listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, and 82.5% of its shares are owned by the Romanian Government via the Ministry of Energy.

EBRD Finance Summary

EUR 150,000,000.00

Total Project Cost

EUR 190,000,000.00


Financing Structure - Public sector: EBRD investment is needed to close the funding gap. At the same time, EBRD does not crowd out other sources, such as from IFIs, government, commercial banks and/or complements them.

Standard-setting: helping projects and clients achieve higher standards: Client seeks/makes use of EBRD expertise on higher environmental standards, above 'business as usual' i through Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP), Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) and Environmental and Social Management and Monitoring Plan (ESMMP) developed in consultation with EBRD. In addition, Client seeks/makes use of EBRD expertise on best international procurement standards. All the procurements for the project will be in accordance with the Bank's Procurement Policies and Rules leading to improvements in the company's procurement practices.

Environmental and Social Summary

Categorised A (ESP 2014). The Project is the construction of a tritium removal facility implemented as part of overall safety improvement programme at an existing NPP in Romania and does not provide for any capacity expansion or service life extension. The Project is subject to comprehensive national ESIA, which includes cumulative issues associated with the existing plant, in line with EU requirements and public consultations, including in the transboundary context. The full ESIA package has been developed in line with EBRD ESP requirements and disclosed on both Client's site and EBRD ESIA site. An independent consultant has been retained to undertake the ESDD of the Project, specifically: review of the ESIA, E&S and Nuclear & Radiation Safety Audit of the existing facilities and E&S management systems, and prepare the supplementary disclosure package. The major impacts associated with the Project include construction health and safety, hazardous materials and waste, workers exposure to harmful impacts, community impacts and stakeholder engagement. The ESIA disclosure package includes a stand-alone NTS and supplementary documentation on the radioactive waste treatment facility, plus the full ESIA as required by regulators for the entire plant to outline cumulative impacts. As part of the Project preparation, an Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP), Non-Technical Summary, Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) and Environmental and Social Management and Monitoring Plan (ESMMP) have been developed and disclosed for public review on Nuclearelectrica's web-site.

This project summary document will be updated upon ESDD completion.

Full ESIA package is available at the following addresses:

Company Contact Information

Amuza Melania Simona
+ 40 21 203 82 77
Bucuresti 010494 Sector 1 Str. Polona nr.65 CP 22-102

PSD last updated

08 Oct 2021

Understanding Transition

Further information regarding the EBRD’s approach to measuring transition impact is available here.

Business opportunities

For business opportunities or procurement, contact the client company.

For business opportunities with EBRD (not related to procurement) contact:

Tel: +44 20 7338 7168

For state-sector projects, visit EBRD Procurement:

Tel: +44 20 7338 6794

General enquiries

Specific enquiries can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Environmental and Social Policy (ESP)

The ESP and the associated Performance Requirements (PRs) set out the ways in which the EBRD implements its commitment to promoting “environmentally sound and sustainable development”.  The ESP and the PRs include specific provisions for clients to comply with the applicable requirements of national laws on public information and consultation as well as to establish a grievance mechanism to receive and facilitate resolution of stakeholders’ concerns and grievances, in particular, about environmental and social performance of the client and the project. Proportionate to the nature and scale of a project’s environmental and social risks and impacts, the EBRD additionally requires its clients to disclose information, as appropriate, about the risks and impacts arising from projects or to undertake meaningful consultation with stakeholders and consider and respond to their feedback.

More information on the EBRD’s practices in this regard is set out in the ESP.

Integrity and Compliance

The EBRD's Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (OCCO) promotes good governance and ensures that the highest standards of integrity are applied to all activities of the Bank in accordance with international best practice. Integrity due diligence is conducted on all Bank clients to ensure that projects do not present unacceptable integrity or reputational risks to the Bank. The Bank believes that identifying and resolving issues at the project assessment approval stages is the most effective means of ensuring the integrity of Bank transactions. OCCO plays a key role in these protective efforts, and also helps to monitor integrity risks in projects post-investment.

OCCO is also responsible for investigating allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct in EBRD-financed projects. Anyone, both within or outside the Bank, who suspects fraud or corruption should submit a written report to the Chief Compliance Officer by email to All matters reported will be handled by OCCO for follow-up. All reports, including anonymous ones, will be reviewed. Reports can be made in any language of the Bank or of the Bank's countries of operation. The information provided must be made in good faith.

Access to Information Policy (AIP)

The AIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations following its entry into force on 1 January 2020. Please visit the Access to Information Policy page to find out what information is available from the EBRD website.

Specific requests for information can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)

If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).

IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.

Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out more about IPAM and its mandate; how to submit a Request for review; or contact IPAM  via email to get guidance and more information on IPAM and how to submit a request.


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