Bulgaria Shuts 20-Year-Old Kozloduy NPP Reactor for Repairs
One of the two 1000 MW reactors of the Bulgarian nuclear power plant "Kozloduy" has been switched off for repairs, the NPP announced.
The temporary termination of operations by Unit 6 has been scheduled and coordinated with the Electricity System Operator (ESO), which provides for operational planning and control of the power system in Bulgaria.
Unit 6 of the Kozloduy NPP is planned to be switched back on at the end of October. In the fall of 2010, the reactor underwent a longer than expected maintenance period.
In the addition to regular maintenance procedures and improvements, the NPP will recharge the reactor with fresh nuclear fuel.
The only other operational reactor at Kozlody, Unit 5, operates at 100% of its capacity, the plant management said.
At the end of August 2011, Unit 6 turned 20, and its exploitation deadline is set to expire in 2019, which that of Unit 5 expires two years earlier.
The Bulgarian government, however, has started a tender to extend the life of the reactors, at least until 2030-35, according to officials. According to reports, the most likely winner of the tender for the modernization of the Kozloduy NPP is a consortium of Rosenergoatom Russia and French company EDF.
After the installation of Unit 6 in 1991, the Kozloduy NPP reached a total production capacity of 3 760 MW. Currently, however, the capacity of the plant is down to 2000 MW after Bulgaria shut down the 440 MW reactors 1-4 in 2002 and 2006 at the insistence of the EU as part of the country's EU accession negotiations.
In the first 20 years of its operation, Unit 6 produced a total of 111 116 834 MW/h of electricity, the NPP announced.
The Kozloduy plant reached its production target for the third quarter of 2011 on September 9, 21 days ahead of schedule.
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