Urenco Supports Bulgaria In Diversifying Nuclear Fuel Supply
Urenco (ENS Corporate Member) has signed a new agreement for enrichment services to supply the Kozloduy nuclear power plant in Bulgaria.
The long-term agreement will see Urenco support the operation of one of two units at Kozloduy, the only NPP in Bulgaria, so supporting the country’s objectives to diversify its nuclear fuel supply chain.
Urenco becomes part of a supply chain that includes fuel partners Cameco, Uranium Asset Management (UAM) and Westinghouse (ENS Corporate Member).
The agreement will see Urenco’s enrichment facilities in Europe (the UK, the Netherlands and Germany) receive natural uranium (UF6) from Cameco and supply enriched uranium product (EUP) for fabrication into nuclear fuel rods by Westinghouse.
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. We are fully equipped to provide Bulgaria with a reliable nuclear fuel supply – alongside our partner organisations. We are looking forward to a very trustful and long-term partnership.
Urenco’s CEO Boris Schucht said.
Read the Urenco Press Release.
The importance of the diversification of nuclear fuel suppliers has been often underlined by the Euratom Supply Agency (ENS Member) which reminded us that diversification is paramount to prevent excessive dependence of EU users on any single third-country supplier and to achieve security of supply of nuclear fuels in the medium and long term.
According to ESA, around 10% of EU gross nuclear electricity capacity is fully dependent on supply of Russian fuel. These concern operators in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia and one operator (out of two) in Finland.
While an alternative fuel design for Russian-made VVER-1000 reactors already exists and is employed (e.g. in Ukraine, Czech Republic, Bulgaria), the VVER-440 reactors are fully dependent on Russian fuel assemblies at the moment. The concerned utilities have fresh fuel in their stock and could operate for 1-2 years.
ENS, together with Euratom Supply Agency, focused on nuclear fuel supply chains and production in Europe in the article “Eastern Europe And The Future Of Nuclear Fuel Supply” and in the interview with Euratom Supply Agency Director General, Agnieszka Kazmierczak.