Bulgaria Considers 2 New Nuclear Reactors at Kozloduy NPP
The preliminary project survey of the site of the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant shows technical opportunities to built one or two extra reactors there, Bulgaria’s Economy Minister Traikov announced.
Speaking in Parliament Friday, Traikov has defended the initiative for at least one new reactor at Kozloduy based on the favorable characteristics on the site of the plant.
Bulgaria’s NPP at Kozloduy currently has only two 1000 MW Soviet VVER reactors in operation, Units 5 and 6.
Its four 440 MW reactors have been shut down ahead of schedule as part of Bulgaria’s EU accession negotiations over European concerns about their safety. Thus, Units 1 and 2 were turned off in 2002, and Units 3 and 4 – in 2006.
The decision for that has been seen by most Bulgarians as unfair and resulting from European pressure motivated by foreign energy interests.
The idea to build a seventh and even an eighth reactor at Kozloduy has often been presented as an alternative to the project for the construction of a second Bulgarian nuclear power plant at another Danube town, Belene.
The Belene nuclear plant is supposed to have two 1000-MW reactors, and to be built by the Russian state company Atomstroyexport. The project, first started by the former communist regime in the late 1980s and frozen in the early 1990s, has run into troubles after the strategic foreign investor, Germany’s RWE pulled out in the fall of 2009, and estimates of its price have increased from EUR 4 B to EUR 10 B or even more.
Officially, the Bulgarian government of PM Boyko Borisov is exploring both options for new nuclear facilities – the new plant at Belene and new reactors at Kozloduy.
In April 2010, Bulgaria’s Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism, Traicho Traikov, met with representatives of the US energy company Westinghouse in America, and announced after that that Westinghouse is interested in building a seventh nuclear reactor at Kozloduy.
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