The signing of the contract with Westinghouse Electric Sweden today is another step taken by Bulgaria towards diversification, said Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. The Prime Minister attended the signing ceremony of the contract between Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and the company Westinghouse Electric Sweden (WES) for the development of safety analyses for licensing and introducing an alternative type of nuclear fuel for Unit 5 of the nuclear power plant in Bulgaria. The contract marks the beginning of the second stage of the process of licensing nuclear fuel for Unit 5 of Kozloduy NPP in implementation of the program for diversification of fresh nuclear fuel supplies. The procedure for the licensing of an alternative nuclear fuel in our country is based on the joint work of experts with proven experience in the field of nuclear energy from Bulgaria, the USA and Sweden.
Within the ceremony, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov highlighted the geostrategic importance of what Bulgaria is currently doing to protect its national security, emphasizing that diversification is an essential element. “We started with the diversification of our fighter aircraft, with the new F-16 Block 70 aircraft. We proceeded with the purchase of a 20% stake in the Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal in Alexandroupolis and financed the construction of the gas interconnector with Greece, which will be completed this year. Under the Three Seas Initiative, we are making very rapid progress in the expansion of the Underground Gas Storage Chiren, which, together with the Greece-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector, will ensure the supply and storage of liquefied natural gas,” the Prime Minister said. Concerning nuclear energy, the Prime Minister also added that the construction of the Unit 7 and Unit 8 at Kozloduy NPP is extremely important for Bulgaria, as our country opts for nuclear energy, which is included in the EU Green Deal and has expertise in the field.
The contract was signed by the Executive Director of Kozloduy NPP Nasko Mihov and by the Vice President and Managing Director of Westinghouse Electric Sweden Aziz Dag. The event was attended by the Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova, the US Ambassador Herro Mustafa and the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden Katarina Rangnitt.
“With the contract we signed today, we have taken another important step in the implementation of the European Energy Security Strategy, part of which is the complete diversification of nuclear supplies and services for all nuclear power plants in the European Union,” the Executive Director of Kozloduy NPP Nasko Mihov said at the ceremony. He expressed confidence that the cooperation with Westinghouse will continue to develop for the benefit of the Bulgarian nuclear energy sector.
The Vice President and Managing Director of Westinghouse Electric Sweden Aziz Dag expressed satisfaction with the partnership with the Kozloduy NPP team. “This will be a real partnership between our two companies so that we can guarantee fuel supplies in the future to ensure energy diversification in Bulgaria,” said Aziz Dag.
The Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova noted that with the signing of today’s contract the process of full diversification of the supply of fresh nuclear fuel for Bulgaria becomes irreversible. “In this way, we as a Government are meeting one of our main commitments and priorities in the energy sector – namely the diversification of energy resources,” Mrs. Petkova said.
The US Ambassador to Bulgaria Herro Mustafa pointed out that today’s step crowns with success many years of work towards achieving the next level of diversification. “It is real pride for us to be here with you. This step is to the benefit of Bulgaria, to the diversification and to the provision of secure supplies from diverse energy sources,” said Ambassador Mustafa.
During the ceremony, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden Katarina Rangnitt noted that the signing of today's contract would be beneficial not only for the two companies, but also for Bulgaria and Sweden.
The preparation of a detailed and in-depth safety assessment is required by the Bulgarian legislation in order to receive a license for the commissioning of an alternative type of fuel assemblies. Upon the completion of the activities under the contract, the document developed will be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Agency to receive a license for operating the alternative assemblies.
The preparation of safety analyses is part of the Kozloduy NPP Program for diversification of fresh nuclear fuel supplies, which includes the individual stages of the process. The program is agreed with the Euratom Supply Agency. The European Energy Security Strategy requires a comprehensive diversified portfolio of supplies of nuclear material and services within the nuclear fuel cycle for all nuclear power plant operators in the European Union. The aim is to ensure the continuous and safe operation of nuclear facilities, security and reliability of the generation of electricity for the households and industries in the EU member states.