Westinghouse has entered into exclusive talks with state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holdings (BEH) over the potential construction of a seventh reactor–an AP1000–at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant in Bulgaria.

Over the coming months, Westinghouse and its parent company Toshiba will work collaboratively and actively with BEH to further explore and advance the details of a potential project.

"Construction could start by 2016, at the earliest"

If talks proceed smoothly, it could take ‘up to six months’ before a financial model and final price can be developed for the Kozloduy 7 project, Bulgarian energy minister Dragomir Stoynev said in late November. Construction could start by 2016, at the earliest, according to Stoynev.

Four AP1000 units in China and four in the United States are scheduled for completion prior to construction at Kozloduy and are ‘substantial references’ for Kozloduy 7, Westinghouse said.

"We are very pleased that Bulgaria is focused on advancing the opportunity to develop and construct Kozloduy unit 7," said Danny Roderick, Westinghouse president and CEO. "The selection of the Westinghouse AP1000 Generation III+ reactor for Kozloduy unit 7 will ensure implementation of the highest safety standards as well as give Bulgaria a maximum degree of certainty with respect to investment, licensing to European and global standards, with accelerated and modern construction."

In August 2012, Westinghouse won a contract to conduct a feasibility study reviewing two potential designs for Kozloduy 7: a VVER design utilising equipment already purchased for the abandoned Belene project, and construction and operation of a new 1000-1200 MW pressurised water reactor design.

The Kozloduy site is home to two operating VVER-1000 reactors Kozloduy 5&6 whose operating licences are due to expire in 2017 and 2019, respectively. There are also VVER-440 units at the site, which were closed in 2002 and 2006 as part of Bulgaria’s accession into the European Union.



Photo: The Kozloduy nuclear power plant in Bulgaria