Westinghouse To Supply Nuclear Fuel For Kozloduy NPP From 2024
Westinghouse Electric Company (ENS Corporate Member) and Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant have signed a 10-year contract to fabricate and deliver VVER-1000 nuclear fuel for Unit 5.
Kozloduy is the only NPP in Bulgaria and the largest in the region. Units 5 and 6 have a total installed capacity of 2GW, supplying more than one-third of the country’s electricity (34.6% in 2021). These units have been upgraded and modernized to extend their operational lives by 30 years each.
The agreement follows the VVER-1000 nuclear fuel licensing contract signed by Kozloduy NPP and Westinghouse in February 2021.
The contract will be valid for 10 years with delivery of the Westinghouse-made fuel for Kozloduy-5 to start in April 2024, said Bulgarian news agency BTA.
Bulgaria currently receives nuclear fuel from the Russian company TVEL under a 2019 contract which is set to expire in 2025. Last month, Bulgaria’s parliament passed a motion to diversify the nuclear fuel suppliers for the country’s only NPP, by speeding up licensing procedures and evaluating potential supplies.
We are proud to support Bulgaria on its path to ensure diversification and energy security. This long-term partnership will also reinforce the plant’s operational efficiency and high standards of safety.
said Tarik Choho, Westinghouse President of Nuclear Fuel.
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.
Westinghouse and ENUSA have recently renewed their intent to collaborate on VVER-440 fuel fabrication.
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.