As Bulgaria joined the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova reminded that achieving the European Union’s carbon neutrality targets by 2050 is impossible without the development of nuclear energy. Thus, the accession of Bulgaria as the 34th member of the NEA is a serious step in the development of the country’s nuclear energy.
According to Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, also present at the official accession ceremony, Bulgaria’s membership in the NEA means a high assessment of the work of Bulgarian nuclear specialists and the compliance of the country’s facilities with high standards of safety and security.
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría recalled that Bulgaria’s membership in the Nuclear Energy Agency was already a key goal of the country’s action plan and it is the result of the constant efforts of both the Agency and the OECD to make the Organisation more global and more inclusive. Mr Gurría emphasised the rich experience of Bulgaria in areas such as nuclear safety, decommissioning of nuclear reactors and others, which will be useful for other members of the Organisation.
“Your country’s point of view is extremely important in view of the discussion within the EU on achieving zero carbon emissions,” said NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV, recalling the high level of used materials and staff experience he had noticed during his visit to Bulgaria.
Bulgaria currently has one nuclear power plant at Kozloduy with two VVER units that generate about one-third of the country’s electricity. The country has ongoing plans to build a new unit at the Kozloduy site and two more units at the Belene site. Expanded use of nuclear power is a strategic priority for Bulgaria, supporting the country’s efforts to enhance energy security while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.