Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear plant signs deal to extend reactor life

Bulgaria’s sole nuclear power plant at Kozloduy, on the Danube River, said on October 9 that it signed a contract with consortium of firms to extend operations of one of its nuclear units.

The consortium includes Russian firms Rosenergoatom and Rusatom Service, as well as Electricite de France. The contract is an “important step towards extending the life of [Kozloduy] Unit 5 by up to 60 years,” the nuclear plant said in a statement.

Unit 5, which houses one of two Soviet-made 1000MW nuclear reactors in operation at Kozloduy, currently has an operational licence issued by Bulgaria’s Agency for Nuclear Regulation expiring in 2017.

Similar steps will be undertaken to extend the life of the nuclear reactor in Unit 6, whose operational licence expires in 2019, the plant said.

Kozloduy power plant shut down four older 440MW units in 2005 and 2006 as a pre-condition to European Union accession, with successive governments stating that extending the life of the other two reactors was a key priority in the energy sector.

Bulgaria’s plans to build a second nuclear power plant at Belene were scrapped after the fall of communism, only to be resurrected in the mid-2000s before being frozen again in 2012 because of uncertainty over costs.

Bulgaria also signed a shareholder agreement with US firm Westinghouse earlier this summer for the construction of another reactor at Kozloduy, but the project’s future will likely require approval from the country’s next government in order to proceed further.



The Sofia Globe staff

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