site.btaNuclear Agency: Severing Ties with Russia in Nuclear Energy Could Be Unpleasant, as Kozloduy NPP is Russian Project
Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA) Chair Tsanko Bachiyski said Thursday at the NRA annual press conference that severing ties with Russia in the field of nuclear energy will be very unpleasant, because the Kozloduy NPP is a Russian project. To a large extent, it depends on the carriers of this technology, he explained.
The imposition of sanctions against Russia in the field of nuclear energy may affect the management of spent fuel. In addition, Kozloduy NPP can operate for another 30 years. Therefore, in any case, the nuclear power plant needs the support of the chief designer and the chief scientific leader of the project, Bachiyski pointed out.
He argued that its important to be careful when discussing nuclear sanctions against Russia. Such sanctions have not been imposed at the moment. Moreover, Bulgaria is not the only country that depends on Russian technology in the European Union. Bachiyski recalled that last year, under the ninth package of sanctions against Russia, a derogation was made regarding ships, because the work of the plant in Kozloduy could be affected. The reason is that the nuclear fuel comes from Russia and arrives by ship to Bulgaria.
The NRA's view is that the imposition of sanctions against Russia in the field of nuclear energy should be approached very carefully, because not only the operation of the Kozloduy NPP can be affected, but also its safety, commented Bachiyski.
The NRA also noted that spent fuel nuclear should not stay in Bulgaria, but should be sent out for processing. Just because it can't happen in Russia doesn't mean it can happen in another country. By 2032, Bulgaria will have no problems exporting spent nuclear fuel.
There is no danger that the Kozloduy NPP will run out of fresh nuclear fuel at the moment. Unit 6 has fuel until 2027, and Unit 5 will be loaded with the last Russian fuel this spring and can operate until April 2024. But if the Westinghouse fuel is not licensed by then, fuel from Unit 6 can be used. According to the contract, the Russian company TVEL must make two deliveries of fresh nuclear fuel per year until 2025, explained Bachiyski.