Kozloduy NPP to terminate contract with Russia for nuclear fuel supply

14:26, 29.05.2024
Kozloduy NPP to terminate contract with Russia for nuclear fuel supply
Image: archive/BGNES

Kozloduy nuclear power plant (NPP) will terminate the contract with Russia for the supply of nuclear fuel. This was announced by the company's CEO Valentin Nikolov on May 29. The remaining Russian fuel will be used for reserve.

Shortly after 2.30 p.m. yesterday, the last of the first 43 Westinghouse nuclear fuel cartridges was inserted into Unit 5 of Kozloduy NPP. The unit is expected to restart on 9 June. The director of Kozloduy NPP commented that the price of US fuel is similar to that of Russian fuel.

In the meantime, negotiations with France's Framatome for the nuclear fuel for unit 6 are continuing.

"We have to complete the diversification in the 4-year period, which is so necessary for Bulgaria given the geopolitical situation. And maybe in Eastern Europe, you know, Southeastern Europe, we are the first plant that started 50 years ago, now we will also be the first to have fully diversified fuel in our plant," said Valentin Nikolov, executive director of Kozloduy NPP.

"Today we are present at a historic moment. Historic in its essence, because in the 50-year history of Kozloduy NPP, for the first time the plant will operate with alternative fuel", pointed out Vladimir Malinov - caretaker Minister of Energy.

Caretaker Energy Minister said he had negotiated with the US Export-Import Bank, which has agreed to fully finance the delivery of the US equipment for Kozloduy NPP units 7 and 8, as well as 40% of the Bulgarian participation in the new capacity project.

"Diversification of nuclear fuel in Bulgaria is a first step for diversification. The step was taken by several governments. I congratulate you for your vision. I believe that Bulgaria will become an energy hub once it diversifies its fuel sources," said Kenneth Merten, United States Ambassador to Bulgaria.

"What could be better than what is happening today? Indeed, this is now the completed first stage of real nuclear fuel diversification. This is not just some 43 cartridges that have been delivered and invested by Westinghouse. This is really the beginning of Bulgaria's decoupling from its almost complete dependence on Russia. 95%, if I am not mistaken, was dependence on Russia and on all energy sources in general. And, without getting political, I will say that it is always good to have a choice," said caretaker Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev.

Glavchev also commented that today the Council of Ministers will decide how to fill the funds in the Energy Security Guarantee Fund so as not to allow a large increase in the price of electricity.

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