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Belgium, Italy, Romania and U.S. form consortium to develop small nuclear reactors

Kitco News

BRUSSELS, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Belgium, Italy and Romania have formed a consortium with U.S. company Westinghouse Electric to develop small nuclear reactors, said the consortium's partners in a joint statement on Wednesday, as many European countries rethink their nuclear energy strategies.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo signed the partnership on Thursday in the presence of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and representatives from the Italian and United States embassies in Belgium.

The entities involved along with Westinghouse are Italian firms Ansaldo and ENEA, the Romanian research institution RATEN and Belgium's nuclear research center SCK CEN.

"A year and a half ago, we took the strategic decision to accelerate our energy transition. Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, limiting our gas emissions and our dependence on countries like Russia, by investing massively in offshore energy, hydrogen infrastructure, but also the nuclear power of the future," said de Croo.

"We have decided to do this by drawing on the expertise developed in Belgium, and by allocating 100 million euros
($106.8 million) to the research and development of small modular reactors," he added.

($1 = 0.9368 euros)

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten)

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