A second reactor of the nuclear power station Cernavoda was started on Sunday evening for a series of low-power tests of its main component, a press release of the Nuclearelectrica company says on Monday. The tests are a preliminary phase before the reactor activity is gradually increased and connected to the mainframe energy system.

The reactor will be commercially operated starting September 2007 with a power of 700 MW. With the launch of the Cernavoda Unit 2, Nuclearelectrica will cover 17-18% of Romania’s overall electricity needs.

Cernavoda Unit 2 has been built according to 2003 contract with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd and Italy’s Ansaldo. The CANDU 6 reactor equipping Unit 2 is the second such reactor on the Cernavoda platform.

The first one has been operating since 1996 and covers 10% of Romania’s national electricity production.