Bulgaria’s Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA) has granted a ten-year extension to the operating licence of unit 6 at the Kozloduy nuclear plant.
Kozloduy 6, a Russian-designed VVER-1000, which began operation in 1991, can now continue generating electricity until October 2029. NRA Chairman Lychezar Kostov said, "The evaluations and examinations confirmed that the power unit can operate without problems for many years."
Plant director Nasko Mihov noted the large amount of work carried out by Russian specialists for the plant life extension. “I can assure you that it can work safely in the next 30 years. Of course, every 10 years we must apply to renew the licence," said nuclear plant director Nasko Mihov. Work to extend the life of Kozloduy 6, under a January 2016 contract, was carried out by a consortium of Rusatom Service, nuclear utility Rosenergoatom (both part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom), and Bulgarian company Risk Engineering.
Kozloduy NPP has six pressurised water reactors. Kozloduy 5, also a VVER-1000, was connected to the grid in 1987, and in 2017 its service life was extended until 2027. The first four 440MWe VVER-440 units were closed between 2002 and 2006 as one of the conditions of Bulgaria's accession to the European Union. The plant supplies more than 34% of Bulgaria’s electricity.
Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said the life extension of Kozloduy 5&6 was financed entirely by the company at a total cost of BGN292 million ($163 million).
Photo: Kozloduy nuclear plant (Credit: KNPP)