The signing of the contract with “Westinghouse Electric Sweden” today is another step Bulgaria takes for diversification, noted Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. The Prime Minister participated in the contract signing ceremony between Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant and the company “Westinghouse Electric Sweden” aimed at developing safety analyses for licensing and implementation of an alternative type of nuclear fuel for Unit 5 of the nuclear plant in Bulgaria.
The contract sets the beginning of the second stage of the nuclear fuel licensing process for Unit 5 of Kozloduy NPP in implementation of the program for diversification of the supply of fresh nuclear fuel. The procedure for licensing alternative nuclear fuel in Bulgaria is implemented with the joint work of experts with proven experience in the field of nuclear energy from Bulgaria, the US and Sweden.
During the ceremony, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov stressed the geostrategic importance of what Bulgaria is currently doing for the protection of its national security, pointing out that diversification is an essential element.
“We started from the diversification of our fighter aircraft park, with the new F16 Block 70 aircraft. We went through the purchase of 20% of the LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis and financed the construction of the interconnector with Greece, which will be ready this year. Under the Three Seas initiative, we are moving very quickly towards the expansion of the Chiren gas repository, which together with the gas connector with Greece will provide supply and storage of liquefied natural gas”, the Prime Minister said.
Talking of nuclear energy, the Prime Minister also added that the construction of the 7th and 8th reactors at Kozloduy NPP is extremely important for Bulgaria, as our country sets great store by nuclear energy, which is included in the EU Green Deal, and Bulgarian experts have experience in the field.
The contract was signed today by CEO of Kozloduy NPP Nasko Mihov and The Vice President and Managing Director of Westinghouse Electric Sweden Aziz Dag. The event was attended by Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova, US Ambassador H.E. Herro Mustafa and Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden H.E.Katarina Ragnitt.
With the contract we concluded today, we have taken another important step in implementing the European Energy Security Strategy, part of which is a complete diversification of nuclear supplies and services for all nuclear plants in the European Union”, said CEO of Kozloduy NPP Nasko Mihov, at the ceremony. He expressed confidence that cooperation with Westinghouse will continue for the benefit of Bulgarian nuclear power engineering.
The Vice President and Managing Director of Westinghouse Electric Sweden Aziz Dag expressed satisfaction with the partnership with the Kozloduy NPP team. “This will be a real partnership between our two companies and we can guarantee the supply of fuel in the future, which will ensure energy diversification in Bulgaria”, said Aziz Dag.
The U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria, Herro Mustafa, pointed out that today’s step crowns with success years of work towards achieving the next level of diversification. “It is a real privilege for us to be here with you. This step is in Bulgaria’s favor, diversification, providing secure and diverse supplies of energy sources”, said H.E. Herro Mustafa.
During the ceremony, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden Katharina Ragnitt noted that the signing of today’s contract will benefit not only both companies, but also Bulgaria and Sweden.
The preparation of a detailed and thorough safety assessment is required by the Bulgarian legislation in order to obtain permission for the commissioning of an alternative type of fuel cartridges. Once the contract activities are finalized, the assessment will be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Agency for authorization to put the alternative cartridges into service.
The preparation of the safety analyses is part of the Kozloduy Nuclear Fuel Supply Diversification Program, which includes the different stages of the process. The program is to be agreed with the Euratom Supply Agency. The European Energy Security Strategy requires a fully diversified portfolio of nuclear and fuel cycle supplies for all nuclear plant operators in the European Union. The aim is to ensure uninterrupted and safe operation of nuclear facilities, security and reliability in electricity generation for households and industry in EU Member States.