Bulgaria’s Nuclear Regulatory Agency (AYaR – Agentsiyata za Yadreno Regulirane) has renewed the licence for used fuel storage at the Kozloduy NPP. AYaR Chairman Tsanko Bachiiski presented the new licence to NPP Director Valentin Nikolov. In line with amendments to the Law on the Safe Use of Nuclear Energy adopted at the end of March, the licence has no time limit, unlike previous licences, which were only valid for 10 years. Instead, the licence is conditional on a periodic safety review (PSR) being carried out at least once every 10 years. Based on the results of the review the NRA will determine the period for carrying out the next PSR.

Kozloduy NPP’s application for the new licence submitted in June 2023, was accompanied by a set of documents containing the results of a PSR together with a programme of measures to maintain the high level of safety of the facility.

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.

Used fuel is initially stored at the reactor pools. In 1990, a pool-type storage facility was constructed to take fuel from all the units and was upgraded in 2001. A dry storage facility for VVER-440 fuel was opened in 2011is being expanded to also take VVER-1000 fuel.