Bulgaria, Fluor and BEH signed MoU on cooperation in the field of nuclear energy

, SEE Energy News

State-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and US Fluor Corporation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that takes into consideration the construction of new nuclear units in Bulgaria.

The two companies have agreed to cooperate in evaluating potential program management services, front-end engineering, evaluation of the existing coal-fired fleet for potential nuclear small modular reactor re-purposement projects.

In early 2021, US NuScale Power, which is majority owned by Fluor Corporation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kozloduy NPP -New Builds, a subsidiary of Bulgaria’s sole nuclear power plant Kozloduy, to explore the options for the deployment of NuScale’s small modular reactor (SMR) technology in Bulgaria.

Kozloduy NPP-New Builds manages a project for the commissioning of a new nuclear power unit for the production of electricity and heat at the site of the power plant. The project will contribute to the implementation of the common European and Bulgarian policy to improve the energy supply, ensuring energy security of the system and moving towards a low-carbon economy.

Last October, the Government allowed the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) to hold talks with US companies, including those offering small modular reactors, in order to explore options for the construction of unit 7 at the approved site within NPP Kozloduy. Bulgaria had already signed an agreement on the construction of unit 7 at NPP Kozloduy with US company Westinghouse, but the project was terminated in 2015, by the first Government led by Boyko Borisov. However, in January 2020, the Government approved a plan for the construction of additional unit at the existing NPP Kozloduy.

Originally, NPP Kozloduy had six reactors, but four older 440 MW reactors were shut down in 2007 due to nuclear safety concern of the European Union. The plant currently operates two Soviet- built 1,000 MW reactors, unit 5 and unit 6 which were commissioned in 1987 and 1991 respectively.