Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov has told a government meeting that construction of unit 7 at the Kozloduy NPP has begun. The statement was broadcast by Bulgarian National Television.

“Today, by government decision, the implementation of the project for the construction of the seventh power unit of the Kozloduy NPP will begin. An additional BLG500m ($274m) will be allocated to the enterprise that will be responsible for the implementation of the project and negotiations will begin with companies involved in the construction of the seventh unit. Completion date if 2033,” Denkov announced.

He added that preparations for the construction Kozloduy unit 8 will also begin. “Because according to the plan, parallel construction should be carried out so that the units are put into operation at intervals of two to three years,” he explained. He clarified that the total capacity of the two units will be 2,300 MWe.

In June, US-based Westinghouse Electric Company signed a Front-End Engineering & Design (FEED) contract with Kozloduy NPP-Newbuild for a AP1000 reactor to be constructed at the Kozloduy NPP site. In March Kozloduy NPP-Newbuild and Westinghouse had signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a joint working group to plan deployment of the AP1000 reactor in Bulgaria. The working group evaluated regulatory, licensing and design requirements and is developing a streamlined execution path in support of Bulgaria’s energy strategy, according to Westinghouse.

In January, the Bulgarian Parliament by a majority vote decided on the need to build two new nuclear reactors (units 7&8) using AP1000 technology at Kozloduy. The decision obliged the Bulgarian government to negotiate with the US government on this issue. In October, the Bulgarian government reversed the decision to build the Belene NPP as a project of national importance and cancelled the procedure for selecting a strategic investor for its implementation.

Currently, Kozloduy NPP operates two Soviet-built VVER-1000 reactors (units 5&6). Bulgaria was obliged to close four older VVER-440 units as a condition for accession to the European Union, even though the units had undergone significant safety upgrades.

Image: Visualisation of the entire project