Westinghouse Electric Company and Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power station signed on December 22 a 10-year contract to produce and deliver VVER-1000 nuclear fuel for the power station’s Unit 5, a statement by Westinghouse said.
“This new agreement guarantees reliable supply of the only fully Western option for VVER nuclear fuel fabrication,” the statement said.
The statement quoted Kozloduy executive director Georgi Kirkov as saying: “We appreciate counting on Westinghouse as a business partner for this agreement, which is in line with our long-term goals of nuclear fuel diversification and security of supply”.
Tarik Choho, Westinghouse President of Nuclear Fuel, said: “Westinghouse provides best-in-class fuel assemblies for VVER-type reactors. We are proud to support Bulgaria on its path to ensure diversification and energy security”.
“This long-term partnership will also reinforce the plant’s operational efficiency and high standards of safety,” Choho said.
The fuel will be supplied out of Westinghouse’s fabrication site in Västerås, Sweden and is the only fully independent alternative to Russian supply, the Westinghouse statement said.
Kozloduy is the only nuclear power plant in Bulgaria and the largest in the region.
Units 5 and 6 have a total installed capacity of 2GW and supply approximately one-third of the country’s electricity. These units have been upgraded and modernized to extend their operational lives by 30 years each.
Separately, a statement by Bulgaria’s Energy Ministry quoted caretaker minister Rossen Hristov as saying: “Today is a significant day for the Bulgarian nuclear energy industry.
“We are taking a major step forward towards the security and diversification of supplies of fresh nuclear fuel for unit 5 of the nuclear power plant,” Hristov said.
“We made a lot of efforts to ensure the smooth and safe implementation of the new nuclear fuel without interrupting the work process of the plant,” he said.
Hristov announced the upcoming signing of an identical contract with the French company Framatome for unit 6, which will complete the procedure for diversifying the supply of fresh nuclear fuel to the Bulgarian nuclear power plant from two independent sources, the Energy Ministry statement said.
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