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Bulgaria’s Kozloduy NPP completes Framatome deal

Last week, the operator of Bulgaria’s only nuclear power plant in Kozloduy (north-eastern Bulgaria), AEC Kozloduy EAD and the French nuclear company, Framatome, signed an agreement for the supply of fresh nuclear fuel for unit 6 of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant.

“Today is an important day in the history of the Kozloduy NPP. With the signed agreement with Framatome, the process of diversification of supplies for the Bulgarian nuclear power plant ends,” said Bulgaria’s Energy Minister, Rosen Hristov. The Minister explained that “true diversification” means replacing one supplier with a minimum of two suppliers operating in a competitive environment. In addition to the Russian TVEL, fresh nuclear fuel for VVER-1000 type reactors will be supplied by the Sweden-based US Westinghouse Electric Sweden, following the recently signed deal, and now the French Framatome.

“The continuous operation of the Kozloduy NPP at maximum capacity is extremely important for the energy and national security of Bulgaria,” added Minister Hristov. The supply of fresh nuclear fuel by Westinghouse and Framatome for the nuclear power plant is guaranteed for the next 10 years, the Minister said. He also expressed confidence that the partnership with the two largest international companies based in Europe will lead to the “realisation of new nuclear capacities in our country”.

“With the partners from Framatome, we will make maximum efforts according to the goals and deadlines set out in this agreement in order to reach the signing of the contract,” said the Executive Director of Kozloduy NPP, Georgi Kirkov. 

The agreement regulates the schedule of future negotiations and the conclusion of a contract for the supply of fresh nuclear fuel for the sixth unit of the Kozloduy NPP. The two parties will conclude a contract for up to 12 recharges for the 2025-2034 period.

Framatome’s Senior Vice President for nuclear fuel, Lionel Geff, expressed his satisfaction with the joint work with Kozloduy NPP. “We are happy that we can assist in the development of the VVER-1000 type reactors located on the territory of Europe, and in particular for the Kozloduy NPP,” he said. According to Mr Geff, the Bulgarian nuclear power plant plays an important role in the production of emission-free electricity. The Senior Vice President also stressed that the French fresh nuclear fuel has already been licensed.

According to the Bulgarian Energy Ministry, the steps to reduce reliance on a single supplier of nuclear materials and services for the Kozloduy NPP are fully in line with the EURATOM Supply Agency’s diversification policy. Following the decision of the National Assembly in November, Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers was tasked with providing conditions for licensing non-Russian nuclear fuel for the Kozloduy NPP. 

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