Kozloduy NPP signs with Westinghouse
PM Borissov: This contract is another step for Bulgaria towards nuclear fuel diversificationEuropost , Sofia
Signing of the contract with Westinghouse Electric Sweden (WES) is another step for Bulgaria towards diversification. This was commented by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov after the ceremony yesterday. The contract is for the development of safety analyses for licensing and introduction of an alternative fuel type in Unit 5 of the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).
It marks the start of the second stage of the nuclear fuel licensing process in implementation of the programme for diversification of fresh nuclear fuel supplies. The licensing procedure for alternative nuclear fuel is realised jointly by experts with proven experience in the field of nuclear energy from Bulgaria, the US and Sweden.
During the ceremony, PM Boyko Borissov emphasised the geostrategic importance of Bulgaria's policies in defence of its national security.
“We started with the diversification of our fighter aviation by buying new F-16 Block 70 aircraft. We went through the purchase of a 20% stake in the Alexandroupolis LNG Terminal and financed the construction of the gas interconnector with Greece, which will be completed this year. As part of the Three Seas Initiative, we are making very fast progress in the expansion of the Chiren underground gas storage, which, along with the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector, will be used for LNG supply and storage,” the prime minister said.
He also added that the construction of Units 7 and 8 of Kozloduy NPP is extremely important for Bulgaria, as the country supports nuclear energy, which is part of the European Green Deal, and has expertise in this field.
The contract was signed by Kozloduy NPP Executive Director Nasko Mihov and Westinghouse Electric Sweden Vice President and Managing Director Aziz Dag. The event was attended by Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova, US Ambassador Herro Mustafa and Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden Katarina Rangnitt.
“With the contract we have signed today, we have taken another important step in implementation of the European Energy Security Strategy, part of which is the complete diversification of nuclear supplies and services for all nuclear power plants in the EU,” said Kozloduy NPP Executive Director Nasko Mihov.
WES Vice President and Managing Director Aziz Dag expressed his satisfaction with the partnership with the Kozloduy NPP team. “This will be a real partnership between our two companies so that we can guarantee future fuel supplies that would ensure Bulgaria's energy diversification,” he stated.
US Ambassador Herro Mustafa pointed out that this step successfully crowns many years of work towards achieving the next level of diversification. “It is a real pride for us to be here with you. This step is to the benefit of Bulgaria, the diversification, the provision of secure and diverse supplies of energy sources,” she said.
Swedish Ambassador Katarina Rangnitt noted that the contract would benefit not just the two companies, but Bulgaria and Sweden as well.
Preparation of a comprehensive and detailed safety assessment is required by Bulgaria's legislation in order for alternative type of fuel assemblies to be licensed for operation. After finalisation of the activities under the contract, the analysis will be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Agency for obtaining a permit for introduction of the alternative fuel assemblies.
The preparation of the safety analyses is part of Kozloduy NPP's programme for diversification of fresh nuclear fuel supplies, which includes the individual stages of the process. The programme is coordinated with Euratom Supply Agency. The European Energy Security Strategy requires an overall diversified portfolio of supplies of nuclear materials and services in the nuclear-fuel cycle for all EU nuclear power plant operators. The aim is to ensure the continuous and safe operation of nuclear facilities and the security and reliability of electricity production for households and industry in the EU Member States.