Bulgaria's Kozloduy NPP Shifts Away from Russian Nuclear Fuel

Energy | May 29, 2024, Wednesday // 17:56|  views

Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) has announced its decision to terminate the contract with Russia for the supply of nuclear fuel, according to the company's executive director, Valentin Nikolov. Nikolov further revealed that the available Russian fuel will now serve as a reserve.

The milestone was marked yesterday afternoon when the last of the initial 43 cassettes containing nuclear fuel from Westinghouse was installed in Unit 5 of the Kozloduy NPP. The unit is scheduled to resume operations on June 9. Notably, Nikolov emphasized that the price of American fuel is comparable to that of Russian fuel.

Simultaneously, negotiations are underway with the French company Framatome for the supply of nuclear fuel for the 6th unit of the plant.

"In the 4-year period, we must complete the diversification that is so necessary for Bulgaria given the geopolitical situation. And maybe in Eastern Europe, you know, South-Eastern Europe, we are the first plant that started 50 years ago, now we will also be the first that we will have fully diversified fuel in our plant," remarked Valentin Nikolov, the executive director of Kozloduy NPP.

"Today we are present at a historic moment. Historical in nature, since in the 50-year history of the Kozloduy NPP, the plant will operate with an alternative fuel for the first time," commented Vladimir Malinov, Acting Minister of Energy.

Acting Energy Minister Vladimir Malinov revealed that he has negotiated with the American Export-Import Bank, which has agreed to fully finance the delivery of American equipment for units 7 and 8 of the Kozloduy NPP, as well as 40% of Bulgaria's participation in the new capacity project.

"Nuclear fuel diversification in Bulgaria is a first step towards diversification. The step was taken by several governments. I congratulate you on your vision. I believe that Bulgaria will become an energy hub after diversifying its fuel sources," stated Kenneth Merten, the Ambassador of the United States in Bulgaria.

"What's better than what's happening today? It's really the first stage of a real diversification of the nuclear fuel process already completed. It's not just some 43 cartridges that have been delivered and already put in by Westinghouse. It's really the beginning of Bulgaria's almost complete dependence on Russia. 95%, if I'm not mistaken, was dependence on Russia and on all kinds of energy sources," said acting Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev, as quoted by BNT.

Glavchev also commented that today the Council of Ministers will decide how to fill the funds in the Energy Security Guarantee Fund to prevent a significant increase in electricity prices.

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Tags: Kozloduy, Russian, fuel, Bulgaria


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