Kozloduy NPP and Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB signed today (December 22) a contract for the supply of fresh nuclear fuel for the 1000-megawatt unit 5 of the nuclear power plant for a period of 10 years.

This is the first step in diversifying the supply of nuclear fuel, which until now came only from Russia, notes “Reuters”. “Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB” is the European division of the American company “Westinghouse”. Kozloduy NPP produces about 35% of the country’s electricity and uses nuclear fuel supplied by the Russian state company Rosatom.

The contract is in fulfillment of the program of Kozloduy NPP agreed with the Supply Agency (ESA) of Evratom for the diversification of supplies of fresh nuclear fuel and in accordance with the decision of the National Assembly of November 9, 2022 to accelerate the process of securing alternative supplier.

A similar agreement is being prepared with the French “Framatom” for the supply of fuel for the other 1000-megawatt unit 6 of the nuclear power plant in Kozloduy. This would achieve complete diversification and security of supplies from two independent non-Russian sources, the Bulgarian authorities assure.

Acting Minister of Energy Rosen Hristov assured in relation to security that there are no risks of the nuclear fuel not working and that its operation will be safe. The new nuclear fuel is expected to be used from mid-2024, when Bulgaria is expected to receive the full license.

He defined the signing of the contract as a significant step forward towards the diversification of the supply of nuclear fuel both in the implementation of the European strategy and in the implementation of the decision of the parliament.

“At the moment we have a partnership, a deal that is extremely good and beneficial for our country, the conditions we have reached for these months in which we are in power are a security of supply. With Westinghouse we now have a supply arrangement for nuclear fuel, we fully fulfill the commitment to the European Agency for Diversification, and that in full pluses for us”, noted Hristov.

He emphasized that the caretaker government also guaranteed the security of nuclear fuel supplies, because currently any supplies from Russia are impossible, including those of nuclear fuel.

“On the occasion of the speculations about the financial conditions, I want to say that thanks to the negotiations, the economic conditions were improved, the price from July has been reduced – we are talking about a double-digit percentage reduction in the price”, he assured.

For his part, Georgi Kirkov, executive director of Kozloduy NPP, commented on the signing of the contract with Westinghouse as follows: “This contract guarantees the security of the Bulgarian nuclear power plant.”