Romanian nuclear new build: Progress amidst turbulence 1990-2010

Raphael James Heffron

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper examines the progress of Romanian nuclear new build amidst the turbulence that the country has experienced during the twentieth century. Romania’s transition from communism to democracy during the 1990s was won with bloodshed, unlike the peaceful revolutions across the rest of Central and Eastern Europe. The transition period has not been without controversy, and there still remain question marks over the operation of some of the Romanian democratic institutional structures. Still, despite the political, economic, and social upheaval in Romania, it has successfully established a nuclear power program. Albeit the pace of construction has been very slow, nevertheless it has two reactors with good safety records and ambitious plans to further develop its nuclear power program. This research involved using the methodology of contrast explanation, a methodology used to explore the factors that shape the outcome of events – in this research the outcome being the successful development of the Romanian nuclear power program. The research is based around interview data from leading actors in the Romanian nuclear energy sector. The research on Romania highlights many lessons for emerging civil nuclear energy nations of the problems, issues and considerations that they will have to surmount to develop a safe and operational nuclear energy plant.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-60
    Number of pages18
    JournalProgress in Nuclear Energy
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


    • Romania
    • Nuclear energy policy
    • Nuclear new build
    • Contrast explanation
    • Legal economics
    • Political economy


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