Bulgaria Nuclear Power Plant Kozloduy Turns 35
Bulgaria's first and only so far nuclear power plant at the Danube town of Kozloduy has turned 35 Friday.
The Kozloduy NPP was opened on September 4, 1974, making Bulgaria the first country in Southeast Europe, and one of the first in the world to use nuclear energy for electricity production. Current and former Bulgarian nuclear specialists are gathering for a celebration in Kozloduy Friday night.
Unit 1 of the plant was started in 1974, and Unit 2 - in 1975. Reactor 3 was launched in 1980, and Reactor 4 - in 1982. All Units 1-4 were of the Soviet-made VVER-440 MW type.
The first 1000-MW reactor, (VVER-1000) Unit 5, was launched in 1987, followed by Unit 6 in 1991.
As a result of agreements within Bulgaria's negotiations for EU accession, Units 1 and 2 were turned off in December 2002, and Units 3 and 4 - in December 2006.
2002 was record for the Kozloduy NPP as with all of its six units working it produced the record 20 221 719 MWh of electricity, or 47,3% of Bulgaria's total electricity output (compared to only 4,7% in 1974 with one reactor.
With only Units 5 and 6 remaining in exploitation, the Kozloduy NPP is still the largest electricity producer in Bulgaria and in the entire region.
Since its launch in 1974, the nuclear plant has produced a total of 472 509 252 MWh of electricity, saving the planet over 600 million tons of carbon dioxide, 25 million tons of sulfur dioxide, 2 million tons of nitrogen oxides, and 1 million tons of dust, which would have been released if the same amount of electricity was produced by a thermal power plant.
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Maybe it would have been fair also to mention how much low-, medium and high-level radioactive waste Kozloduy has left in its 35 years of operation. And the fact that the largest part of its spent fuel was spent to Mayak in Russia, arguably the most polluting nuclear factory on the planet.
And what about incidents and near misses in the power station over these 35 years?
What further misses is the inclusion of sulfurdioxide, carbondioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust produced during uranium mining, fuel production, construction and decommissioning of the power plant.
The legacy of Kozloduy is not only rosy...