Bulgarian nuclear plant's units 5 and 6 to be upgraded by 2009

Monday, December 17, 2007

(Text of report in English by Bulgarian national news agency BTA website) Ihtiman, 14 December: At the moment the fuel of Units 5 and 6 of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant is being replaced by a better one, Nuclear Regulation Agency (NRA) President Sergei [Sergey] Tsochev told reporters in Ihtiman. The licences for the operation of Units 5 and 6 expire in 2009 and the NRA expects to be submitted a report by the N-plant on their safety in 2008. The upgrading of the units will be completed within the validity of the licences, Tsochev said. An invitation has been extended to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and by the end of 2008 it will inspect the observance of the respective technical requirements at the Bulgarian N-plant.

The resources available in the two funds set up with NRA are as follows: 885 million leva in the fund for decommissioning nuclear power generators and 120 million leva in the fund for nuclear waste management, Tsochev said. As of next year, the annual contribution to the fund for decommissioning nuclear generators will be reduced from 15 to 7.5 per cent. A total of 10 million leva were spent in 2007 on the decommissioning of nuclear generators; the money spent on radioactive waste management is much more. Two hundred and forty waste nuclear fuel of Kozloduy's decommissioned units 1 and 2 were transported from the plant in order to be disposed of. Their transportation was financed with 29 million leva allocated by decision of the Council of Ministers for this purpose. Another 480 waste fuel cassettes will be transported for disposal by 2010 thus completing the transportation of all the waste fuel of units 1 and 2. The government will provide 58 million leva for it in two tranches.

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