In order to amend safety analyses for licensing and introduction of an alternative fuel type in the plant’s 1,000 MW unit 5, Bulgaria’s sole nuclear power plant Kozloduy signed a contract with Westinghouse Electric Sweden (WES).
The contract marks the start of the second stage of licensing of nuclear fuel for NPP Kozloduy’s Unit 5 as part of a program for diversification of fresh nuclear fuel supplies. The licensing procedure for alternative nuclear fuel is implemented jointly by nuclear energy experts from Bulgaria, the United States and Sweden. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said the signing of the contract was Bulgaria’s latest step towards diversification. He emphasized the geostrategic importance of Bulgaria’s policies in defence of national security, stressing that diversification is an essential component. Also Bulgaria acquired a 20 % stake in the Alexandroupoli LNG terminal, financed the construction of the gas interconnector with Greece, which will be completed this year. As part of the Three Seas Initiative, Bulgaria is making progress in the expansion of Chiren underground gas storage, which, along with the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector, will be used for LNG supply and storage. PM Borisov also said the construction of Units 7 and 8 at NPP Kozloduy is extremely important for Bulgaria. It sets great store by, and has expertise in, nuclear energy, which is part of the European Green Deal. Bulgaria’s statutory framework requires a detailed comprehensive safety assessment for alternative fuel assemblies to be licensed for operation, said the press release. After the activities envisaged in the contract are completed, the analysis will be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Agency which can permit the introduction of alternative fuel assemblies. The preparation of safety analyses is part of NPP Kozloduy’s program for diversification of fresh nuclear fuel supplies, which has been cleared with the Euratom Supply Agency. The European Energy Security Strategy requires an overall diversified portfolio of fuel supply for all nuclear plant operators in the EU. The aim is to guarantee the uninterrupted and safe operation of nuclear facilities, the security and reliability of electricity production for households and industry in the EU member states.