First batch of Westinghouse-manufactured nuclear fuel delivered to Bulgaria’s Kozloduy power station

The first delivery of nuclear fuel produced by United States company Westinghouse is at the site of the Kozloduy nuclear power station, caretaker Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev and Energy Minister Vladimir Malinov, who visited the plant, said on April 20.

This is a key stage of the bilateral strategic partnership in the field of nuclear energy with our partners from the United States, we already have real diversification for the nuclear fuel for the 5th unit, Malinov said.

He said that there is a signed contract with France’s Framatome for fuel diversification for the 6th unit of the nuclear power station, with the provision of access to reliable alternative supplies from the USA, complete independence is achieved for the Kozloduy nuclear power station, a Bulgarian government statement said.

After the Nuclear Regulatory Agency has already issued a licence for the deployment and storage of the nuclear fuel from Westinghouse, a permit for its operation is expected to be issued on April 22.

“We plan to gradually load the first 43 cartridges of fresh nuclear fuel produced by Westinghouse in the 5th unit of the Kozloduy nuclear power station in May,” Malinov said.

“Thanks to the strategic partnership between Bulgaria and the United States, we are achieving the common goal of a safer, cleaner and more sustainable future. The use of the new type of nuclear fuel will also contribute to the achievement of European decarbonisation goals,” he said.

Malinov said that Bulgarian nuclear energy has a strategic role in guaranteeing national, regional and European energy security and providing energy at affordable prices for consumers.

While at the plant, Glavchev and Malinov also visited the site where the 7th and 8th units of the Kozloduy NPP are planned to be built.

Up to now, Bulgaria has got Kozloduy’s nuclear fuel for the two 1000MW Soviet-made VVER-1000 reactors from Russia.

(Photo: Energy Ministry)

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