Nuclear Power

13 Jun 2024

Bulgaria's Kozloduy Using First Westinghouse Fuel

13 Jun 2024  by world-nuclear-news   
Following its annual scheduled shutdown, Kozloduy unit 5 has been restarted with 43 Westinghouse-produced cartridges loaded into the reactor as part of its transition from Russian-supplied fuel.

Kozloduy 5 and 6 (Image: KNPP)

Bulgaria is one of a number of countries in the European Union who are in the process of switching away from Russian-supplied fuel for their nuclear reactors. Westinghouse signed a 10-year supply contract in December 2022 and is supplying its RWFA VVER-1000 fuel design, which the American company has been supplying to several Ukrainian plants over the past decade.

The Kozloduy nuclear power plant is in the northwest of Bulgaria on the Danube River and provides about 34% of the country's electricity. It features two 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. Unit 5 was connected to the grid in 1987 and unit 6 in 1991.

As well as the fuel supply agreement with Westinghouse for unit 5, Kozloduy also signed an agreement with France's Framatome to supply fuel for unit 6.

The licence to use the new fuel was issued by the country's Nuclear Regulatory Agency in April, with the loading taking place during the month-long shutdown which also involved the usual safety maintenance and testing checks in accordance with licence obligations. Following an inspection from the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, the unit was reconnected to tthe national electricity system at 09:53 on Monday.

The full transition to the new fuel is expected to take four years.


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