Bulgaria to push ahead with two new units at Kozloduy

25 October 2023

The Council of Ministers in Bulgaria has given the go-head for the construction of the new unit 7 and preparatory work for unit 8 at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant, with both to feature AP1000 reactors.

Kozloduy supplies about one-third of Bulgaria's electricity (Image: Kozloduy NPP)

The official Bulgarian BTA news agency reported that the Bulgarian government had set a target date for the first unit to be ready for 2033, with a further BGN500 million (USD270 million) of funding provided to the project company.

It adds that the Cabinet asked Energy Minister Rumen Radev to "take the necessary actions on the transparent selection of a contractor for the design, construction and commissioning of the new power unit. The final contract with the selected company and with the supplier of the AP1000 technology must be drawn up under the conditions of a fixed price and execution period. The Cabinet obliged the Minister of Energy to organise negotiations with financial institutions to secure the necessary loan funds."

The same meeting also gave approval for the start of preparations of unit 8 at Kozloduy, with the aim that it would be completed "two or three years after the first one".

Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said that the 2300 MWe capacity of the two new units would exceed the 1760 MWe capacity of the closed first four units. The Ministry of Energy, posting on X (formerly Twitter), highlighted the new reactors' ability to change power output as important for the balancing and stability of the overall energy system.

Earlier this year, Westinghouse and Kozloduy NPP-Newbuild signed an MoU to initiate planning for the potential deployment of one or more AP1000 reactors at Kozloduy, which is in the northwest of Bulgaria on the Danube River and provides about 34% of the country's electricity.

Kozloduy units 1-4 were VVER-440 models which the European Commission had classified as non-upgradeable and Bulgaria agreed to close them during their negotiations to join the European Union in 2007. Units 5 and 6 feature VVER-1000 reactors that were connected to the grid in 1987 and 1991, respectively. Both units have been through refurbishment and life extension programmes to enable extension of operation from 30 to 60 years.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News