An IAEA team reported satisfaction with the operation of Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power plant after a three-week inspection. Team leader Zigmund Domaracky said they were impressed with the significant improvements made in the plant and made a number of further recommendations.

“The recommendations are not of a dramatic nature. We voiced many positive evaluations about the programme for the nuclear plant’s repairs,” Domaracky said after briefing Deputy Prime Minister Evgenii Bakurdjiev on the inspection result.

Kozloduy’s deputy manager in charge of safety, Yordan Kostadinov, believes the mission may be a crucial turning point in the attitude of Western Europe to the plant. He said the experts acknowledged that the plant could safely operate the four older 440 MWe units. The IAEA made 48 recommendations, which was normal for such a mission. He believed the evaluation will be used by the Bulgarian government in future negotiations with the European Union on the future of the small power units. Plant chief Krassimir Nikolov said a detailed report on the recommendations would be sent to the government in 45 days and the team would return in 18 months for a further check.