IAEA Silent on Bulgaria Nuke Fault

Politics | April 24, 2006, Monday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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The International Atomic Energy Agency has been unofficially informed about the accident in Bulgaria's Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant that took place in the beginning of March, but still hasn't commented the case.

There was no need to inform the Agency officially, as the problem in Bulgaria only rated as level one (seven being the most dangerous) according to the International Nuclear Events Scale (INES). Countries have to officially alert IAEA for events of level two or higher, Ivan Ivanov, Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant's manager, said.

Ivanov added that there had been no real threat to the people of Bulgaria and refuted the reports of German weekly Spiegel that claimed the plant's management had covered up a dangerous failure.

Spiegel's information came from Bulgarian physicist Georgi Kaschiev, who once served as the head of the country's Committee for nuclear power usage for peaceful aims. Ivanov said that Kaschiev had exaggerated in his claims of a serious technical problem as the failure was only rated level one according to INES. Saying that Kozloduy NPP was a step away from Chernobyl is an insinuation, Ivanov said, because it is technologically impossible for a failure like that in the Ukrainian plant to take place in Kozloduy.

Bulgaria holds the world record for operating a nuclear power plant the longest time without an emergency shutdown of a reactor - nine years and four months.

In the meantime, Ruscho Yankov, member of Bulgaria's Nuclear Society denied a cover-up saying that the information for the accident had been published on the web site of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency immediately after it took place - March 1, 2006.
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