Bulgaria’s caretaker cabinet has approved a derogation from European Union (EU) sanctions on Russia and will be able to import the materials and spare parts necessary for its annual maintenance of the Kozloduy NPP to ensure the safe operation. Caretaker Minister of Energy Rosen Hristov said this was “critically important” for the safety of the plant. “These are consumables, services and parts for which we have not yet found alternative suppliers. We are also overstocking on these materials and parts for which we are unable to find alternative supplies, so as to ensure the smooth operation of Kozloduy NPP for the years to come, " he noted.

Bulgaria will import parts and materials from Russia to ensure the safe operation of the Kozloduy NPP. At today's meeting, the government approved a derogation from the sanctions of the European Union, which prohibit the import of certain parts and materials from Russia because of the war in Ukraine.

This was announced by Energy Minister Rosen Hristov and he explained the decision of the Council of Ministers "to approve a derogation for the Kozloduy NPP to be able to buy the necessary materials, spare parts and services, so as to ensure the normally planned annual repairs and operation of the NPP".

"This is of critical importance for the security of the power plant. It is about materials, services and parts for which we have not yet found alternative suppliers. We are continuing the process of selecting new contractors so that in the long term we have absolute security," Hristov pointed out.

Hristov earlier warned that, if sanctions were imposed on Russia's nuclear industry, as urged by Ukraine, there would be a risk that the operation of the Kozloduy NPP would suffer seriously. “We still depend on the supply of Russian parts, information and consulting services and others. Sanctions would lead to the shutdown of the plant, he was quoted as saying by the Ministry’s Press Centre

He also told BTV, it would take time to achieve full diversification in the field of nuclear energy. He stressed the importance of the plant, not only for the Bulgarian energy sector, but also for the competitiveness of the entire economy. "Last year, the Kozloduy NPP produced 16 TWh of electricity – about 30% of all consumption in the country". He said “a sharp suspension of relations with Russia in the nuclear field at this moment will cause a chain reaction with unpredictable consequences for the entire economy”. By protecting Bulgarian interests in this case, he added. “we are also protecting Europe because a weak Bulgaria as a member of the EU means a weak Europe”.

Image: Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear power plant (courtesy of Kozloduy NPP)