site.btaBulgaria Expects to Sign Agreement with US on Feasibility Study for New N-plant Project
An intergovernmental agreement with the US and a contract for a feasibility study for the possible construction of a new N-plant project in Bulgaria are expected to be signed in the coming months, Energy Minister Rossen Hristov said here Friday. He was asked by BTA what happens with a parliamentary resolution obligating the government, through the Energy Minister, to take action for construction of a seventh unit at the Kozloduy N-plant by March 1, 2023.
Hristov took BTA's question during the inspection of the progress on the construction of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal near the Greek port of Alexandroupolis. According to the Minister, things are on schedule. He, however, clarified that the agreement with the US would not specify an exact number of reactors, but would focus on exchange of experience, competencies and any other assistance that could be provided at government level.
"We are working with the US towards a feasibility study. Discussions are also underway with the US Department of Energy to sign an intergovernmental agreement that would assist this process as well as provide access to funding," Hristov said. He added that Bulgaria, based on the results of the feasibility study for the cost of the project and according to the country's electricity consumption, should decide how many reactors could be built.
"It is this feasibility study that will give us the necessary details for the National Assembly to make a competent decision in the near future. Most likely, all the information will be available early next year," Hristov explained.
At the beginning of 2023, the National Assembly adopted a draft resolution on construction of new nuclear capacity at Kozloduy, which assigned the Council of Ministers to conduct negotiations with the US government on the conclusion of an intergovernmental agreement for the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Kozloduy with AP1000 technology.
Regarding the reactors which have sat for years at the Belene N-plant site, the same feasibility study should be carried out, plus an analysis to what extent the existing equipment can be integrated into a common complex, the Energy Minister added. Whether it will be European technology or American remains to be specified. "The National Assembly will have to make a final decision on this issue again," he said.
"You know that with the vision we proposed based on the expected electricity consumption in Bulgaria in the next 30 years, we propose to build 4 reactors, given that we have sites for so many and the country's consumption is expected to double," the minister said. Hristov recalled that the existing units 5 and 6 at Kozloduy should be decommissioned around 2050. "The next parliament and regular government will hopefully continue working in the same direction," concluded Hristov.