Urenco, Cameco sign supply deals for Bulgaria's Kozloduy

21 April 2023

Urenco and Cameco are joining Westinghouse in the supply chain for one of the Kozloduy units in Bulgaria as the country diversifies its nuclear fuel supplies.

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

The long-term agreement will see Urenco's enrichment facilities in Europe - which are in the UK, Netherlands and Germany - receive natural uranium (UF6) from Cameco and supply enriched uranium product for fabrication into nuclear fuel rods by Westinghouse.

Urenco CEO Boris Schucht said: "Urenco is ready to support countries seeking to increase their energy security and independence and I am pleased to welcome Kozloduy as our newest customer. We are fully equipped to provide Bulgaria with a reliable nuclear fuel supply - alongside our partner organisations. We are looking forward to a very trustful and long-term partnership."

Cameco said that the 10-year supply contract was for it to supply natural uranium hexafluoride to meet the full requirements of Kozloduy unit 5 through to 2033.

The switch of supply from Russian-produced fuel for the VVER-1000 Kozloduy unit 5 was confirmed in December when Westinghouse signed a 10-year contract to supply it with fuel. In a tweet following the new agreements, Westinghouse said: "We're excited to partner with Cameco for the next decade in supplying VVER-1000 fuel to Kozloduy Nuclear Plant."

The Russian war with Ukraine has led to a number of plants and countries in Europe seeking to switch from Russian-supplied fuel and Bulgaria's National Assembly voted in November for an acceleration of the diversification process.

At the end of last year, a separate agreement was signed with France's Framatome relating to the supply of nuclear fuel for the sixth unit at Kozloduy. The Bulgarian Ministry of Energy said at the time that having different nuclear fuel suppliers for the two units at Kozloduy was intended to meet European Union requirements to ensure security of supply.

The Kozloduy plant is in the northwest of Bulgaria on the Danube River and provides about 34% of the country's electricity. It features two Russian-designed VVER-1000 units currently in operation, which have both been through refurbishment and life extension programmes to enable extension of operation from 30 to 60 years.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News