US Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs Andrew Light and Bulgarian Minister of Energy Roumen Radev signed on February 12 an Intergovernmental Agreement to cooperate on the development of Bulgaria’s civil nuclear power programme, and potentially other forms of clean energy cooperation as the US and Bulgaria may decide, a statement on the US embassy website said.
“This agreement deepens the enduring bond between the United States and Bulgaria, enhances our energy security, and helps achieve our shared goal of ensuring that the next generation of nuclear energy in Bulgaria will be developed to the highest standards of safety, security, and nonproliferation,” the statement said.
The statement said that the agreement, which builds on the 2020 Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Bulgaria Concerning Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation, creates a framework for the two countries to work together as Bulgaria develops its civil nuclear power programme.
It will create a working group to support the Bulgarian government’s plans to design, construct, and commission one new reactor with installed capacity of at least 1000 megawatts at the Kozloduy nuclear power station.
The agreement also identifies other areas of civil-nuclear cooperation that will benefit both nations for decades to come, the statement said.
These include the exchange of technical expertise, identification of financing options for future projects, and continuing exchange of best practices in regulation and oversight of civil nuclear energy.
Under this agreement, Bulgaria and the US will explore collaboration on research and training programmes and developing Bulgaria’s nuclear supply chain resilience.
The agreement also creates opportunities to work together to promote transparency and public awareness as Bulgaria develops civil nuclear energy as a safe, sustainable, and carbon-free source of energy.
Assistant Secretary Light underscored that this agreement would help Bulgaria achieve its goals of promoting overall energy security, meeting its clean energy needs, ensuring a high level of environmental protection, and deepening the US-Bulgaria bilateral strategic relationship.
“Today marks a significant milestone in the development of the strategic partnership between the United States and Bulgaria,” Light said after the signing.
“This agreement will play a vital role in promoting energy security and decarbonization for Bulgaria and the region. Together, we will support Bulgaria’s efforts to strengthen all aspects of its civil nuclear power programme, including nuclear safety and security, nuclear fuel supply, and nuclear project development.”
Radev said: “This agreement is an expression of our shared vision for the development and role of nuclear energy as a key element in achieving the goals of carbon neutrality.
“For us, a very important aspect is cooperation in the field of training and the exchange of experience, the exchange of personnel and knowledge, and last but not least, the development of a supply chain in which many Bulgarian companies are actively involved,” he said.
(Photo via the website of the US embassy in Sofia)
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