Electricity

Bulgaria, US sign intergovernmental agreement on nuclear energy cooperation

bulgaria us nuclear agreement kozloduy radev light

Photo: US Embassy in Bulgaria

Published

February 13, 2024

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Published:

February 13, 2024

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Bulgaria and the United States have signed an intergovernmental agreement to work together on building a new nuclear power plant (NPP) at the site of the existing NPP Kozloduy, and on Bulgaria’s civil nuclear program, the Government of Bulgaria has said.

US Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs Andrew Light and Bulgarian Minister of Energy Rumen Radev have signed an Intergovernmental Agreement to cooperate on the development of Bulgaria’s civil nuclear power program, and potentially other forms of clean energy cooperation as the US and Bulgaria may decide, the US Embassy in Bulgaria said.

According to the Bulgarian government website, the document is based on a decision of the National Assembly from January 2023 to conduct negotiations and conclude an intergovernmental agreement with the US for the construction of a new nuclear power plant at NPP Kozloduy, with AP1000 technology.

Of note, Bulgaria recently called on potential contractors to express interest in the construction of a new nuclear power plant with AP1000 technology in northwestern Bulgaria.

The two countries will set up a steering committee to coordinate the joint activities

The agreement includes specific cooperation on the project to build the new nuclear power plant, as well as the supply of nuclear fuel, waste management, quality management systems, training and exchange of personnel and knowledge, and the regulatory framework, the government added.

According to the country’s government, the deal also includes cooperation on regulatory issues, based on an agreement signed at the end of last year between Bulgaria’s Nuclear Regulatory Agency and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The two countries will establish a steering committee to coordinate and manage the joint activities under the agreement, the government said.

According to the US Embassy, the agreement creates a framework for the two countries to work together as Bulgaria develops its civil nuclear power program.

Radev: Nuclear energy as a key element in achieving carbon-neutrality

It will create a working group to support the Bulgarian government’s plans to design, construct, and commission one new reactor with an installed capacity of at least 1,000 MW at NPP Kozloduy, the embassy said in a press release.

According to the Bulgarian government, Minister Radev stressed that the intergovernmental agreement strengthens the commitment of both countries to a strategic nuclear partnership.

“With this agreement, we are actively working towards our shared goal of a safer, cleaner and more sustainable future, and providing affordable and secure energy,” he noted.

Light: The agreement will play a vital role in promoting energy security and decarbonization for Bulgaria and the region

According to the US embassy, Radev said that the agreement is an expression of the two countries’ shared vision for the development and role of nuclear energy as a key element in achieving the goals of carbon neutrality.

Assistant Secretary Light underscored that the agreement would help Bulgaria achieve its goals of promoting overall energy security, meeting its clean energy needs, ensuring a high level of environmental protection, and deepening the US-Bulgaria bilateral strategic relationship, the embassy said.

“This agreement will play a vital role in promoting energy security and decarbonization for Bulgaria and the region. Together, we will support Bulgaria’s efforts to strengthen all aspects of its civil nuclear power program, including nuclear safety and security, nuclear fuel supply, and nuclear project development,” Light stressed.

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