Urenco has agreed to supply enrichment services to the Kozloduy NPP in Bulgaria. Urenco has become part of a supply chain which includes fuel partners Canada’s Cameco, UK-based Uranium Asset Management (UAM) and US-based Westinghouse. Cameco has signed a 10-year supply contract with Westinghouse to provide sufficient volumes of natural uranium hexafluoride (UF6 – including uranium and conversion services), to support unit 5 at Kozloduy. Urenco’s enrichment facilities in Europe (the UK, the Netherlands and Germany) will use the UF6 from Cameco to supply enriched uranium product (EUP) for fabrication into nuclear fuel rods by Westinghouse. The EUP will be delivered to Westinghouse’s facility at Vasteras in Sweden, which will fabricate fuel for Kozloduy.
Kozloduy NPP on the Danube River currently uses fuel supplied by Rosatom’s Tvel for its two Soviet-built VVER-1000 reactors (units 5&6). Units 1-4 with VVER-440 reactors were closed as a condition for Bulgaria’s accession to the EU, despite being extensively upgraded, drastically reducing Bulgaria’s energy export. Under ppressure from the EU, Bulgaria is now seeking to diversify its fuel supplies away from Russia. Earlier this year. Kozloduy NPP signed a 10-year agreement with France’s Framatome to supply nuclear fuel to Kozloduy's unit 5 from early 2025. Kozloduy had previously signed a similar contract with Westinghouse Electric Sweden for nuclear fuel for unit 6 from 2024. Bulgaria's current contract with Tvel expires in at the end of 2025.
Urenco CEO Boris Schucht, along with representatives from Cameco, UAM and Westinghouse, visited Sofia to mark the new agreement and the first order from Kozloduy. Boris said, “Urenco is ready to support countries seeking to increase their energy security and independence and I am pleased to welcome Kozloduy as our newest customer.
“This is Cameco’s first agreement to supply fuel for Bulgaria’s nuclear energy sector,” said Cameco’s President & CEO Tim Gitzel. “We are very pleased to add another market to Cameco’s global commercial portfolio and to expand our contributions to countries like Bulgaria that are seeking to enhance their energy security while affirming their commitment to carbon-free nuclear power in achieving their climate goals.”
The agreement, which runs to 2033, will see Cameco deliver a total of approximately 2.2m KgU as UF6 (the equivalent of about 5.7m pounds of uranium concentrate – U3O8).
Image: Front row, from left: Angie Darkey, Uranium Asset Management’s managing director; Boris Schucht, Urenco CEO; Tim Gitzel, Cameco president and CEO; and Aziz Dag, Westinghouse senior vice president of global BWR & VVER fuel business at the fuel supply contract signing in Sofia, Bulgaria (courtesy of Urenco)