Bulgaria: NPP Belene equipment might be used for new unit of NPP Kozloduy

, SEE Energy News

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said that, according to the expert reports, it is economically, environmentally and technically possible to use the equipment provided for nuclear power plant Belene for the new unit at NPP Kozloduy, adding that international experts have also been invited to take part in the analyses prior to the implementation of the project for the construction of a new unit at NPP Kozloduy. At the meeting between Director of nuclear power plant Kozloduy Nasko Mihov and Prime Minister Borisov, Director Mihov informed the Prime Minister that research work was launched on 7 December 2020 on the possibility of building a new unit on site 2 of NPP Kozloduy, after the decision on an environmental impact assessment of the project was issued in February 2020.

He added that the Government is guided by the possibilities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on imports of energy resources in an optimal and competitive way, in the context of the EU climate neutrality program by 2050 and the priorities of the European Green Deal.

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.

In mid-June 2016, the Arbitration Court in Geneva has ruled that Bulgaria has to pay compensation to Russian company AtomStroyExport (ASE) over the cancelled project for the construction of nuclear power plant Belene. According to the ruling, Bulgaria was ordered to pay 550 million euros for the equipment which ASE produced for the plant, but the amount was raised to over 600 million euros. In December 2016, the debt to Atomstroyexport (601.6 million euros) over NPP Belene arbitration has been paid in full.