Bulgaria started building a nuclear waste depot on August 29 2017. The facility will be in a three km zone around the six nuclear reactors near the northern Bulgarian town of Kozloduy. Only two of the reactors are operational.
A total of five companies were commissioned for the first phase of the project. One of their tasks is to decommission reactors 1, 2, 3 and 4, which were shut down before Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007
the nuclear waste depot will have a capacity of about 138 000 cubic metres. It is supposed to accommodate radioactive waste on a long-term basis and will cost more than 70 million euro.
Bulgaria’s Minister of Energy, Temenuzhka Petkova, was quoted as saying that the construction of the depot was “extremely important for the development of nuclear energy in Bulgaria”. The country is in the process of extending operations of reactors no. 5 and 6, beyond their original life span, by decades. Both are 1000 megawatt reactors.
The Kozloduy nuclear power station uses cooling water from the Danube river. There is talk about building a seventh reactor there, after a nuclear power project in Belene, located further east along the Danube, was cancelled in 2012. The project had a price tag of more than half a billion euro, which Bulgaria recently paid.
All reactors in Kozloduy are Soviet-built. Reactors 1 and 2, which are not operational anymore, and will be decommissioned step by step, were among the 10 most dangerous reactors in the world, according to the United States Department of Energy. In 2010, the state-owned company DP RAO was commissioned to take the reactors apart and store the waste.