site.btaDeputy Energy Minister: Bulgaria Should Consider Investing in New Nuclear Capacities after 2035
Deputy Minister of Energy Nikolay Nikolov Tuesday said that Bulgaria should consider investing in new nuclear capacities by 2035, because Kozloduy N-Plant's Units 5 and 6 will reach the end of their lives by 2040. Nikolov spoke to BTA during a Bulgarian pavillion’s event at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai.
"Units 7 and 8 will be built but after that no additional capacities can be installed on the Kozloduy N-Plant site because it will already be filled up. Belene N-Plant is an option. It is still too early to talk about a specific technology, but this will have to be done after 2035 since such capacities have to be built so they can be used when reactors 5 and 6 reach the end of their lives. One option are the small modular reactors whose development at the global level we will be monitoring. These are said to be already in the commercialization phase by 2030, but we will follow the licensing process because safety is the most important thing when it comes to nuclear reactors," Nikolov said.
The Deputy Minister outlined the basics of Bulgaria’s draft energy strategy, which has already been published and is yet to be made available for public consultation. "In addition to the investments in Units Seven and Eight (Unit Seven should be ready by 2032-33 and Unit Eight by 2035), the draft envisages investments in the rehabilitation of the hydraulic power packs of the Chaira Hydro Power Plant and the construction of two new hydro power plants using the Batak and Belmeken dams, which should be completed by 2032.
"Thus, Bulgaria should have four nuclear units, the functioning Chaira HPP and two new hydraulic power packs by 2035. These capacities will be the system’s backbone and will allow for the inclusion of renewable energy capacities," Nikolov said.
The Deputy Minister participated in a panel titled "Challenges and Opportunities in the Transition to Green Energy", which took place on Tuesday at the Bulgarian pavilion of COP28 under the auspices of the Energy Ministry.