Preparatory activities and study the opportunities for a new nuclear power plant

The Bulgarian Council of Ministers took a decision to undertake preparatory activities and study the opportunities a new nuclear power plant to be built at Kozloduy NPP site during its meeting on 14 th of October 2020. The building has to be carried out according to the Order № AA-04-30 / 21.02.2020 of the Chairman of The Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency in the context of achieving the European Union’s goals for climate neutrality by 2050 and diversification of energy resources.

According to Article 2 of the abovementioned decision, the Bulgarian Minister of Energy is instructed to take the necessary action and to allow to Bulgarian Energy Holding the beginning of negotiations with United States’ companies that develop new nuclear technologies with peaceful purposes, including small modular reactors’ technologies in order to study the possibilities for construction of a new nuclear power plant at Site 2, situated near to existing KNPP.

The citied decision of the Bulgarian Council of Ministers doesn’t determine a single and total installed capacity of the planned plant, nor does it limit the technologies alternatives to be considered. Moreover, it gives a mandate to expand the scope of already performed activities related with the project for the construction of a new power capacity at KNPP site and done by KNPP_ New Builds Plc.

Its main goal, in line with global trends, is to make some preliminary studies and analysis about the possibilities of using small modular reactors as a future alternative of the current, so called, large reactors of generation 3+.
These small modular reactors would have advantages in liberalized markets such as the European one, due to their ability to follow the load of the grid and support its sustainability after the widespread introduction of unpredictable alternative energy sources, especially.

According to the decision, taken by the Bulgarian Council of Ministers some kind of activities have to be undertake regarding the analysis of the possibility to use the full capacity and the maximum extent of the investigated and approved site for the location of new nuclear facilities taking into account the cumulative effect related with the construction of a new big standard latest generation nuclear unit as the Decision of Bulgarian Council of Ministers from 2012 has been referred to.

Approving Site 2 for the Deployment of a Nuclear Facility

On February 21, 2020. the BNRA Chairman presented to "Kozloduy NPP-New Builds" PLC administrative act - Order №AA-04-30 approving site 2 for the deployment of a nuclear facility - nuclear power plant. In accordance with national legislation and according to the IAEA...

Approving Site 2 for the Deployment of a Nuclear Facility

On February 21, 2020. the BNRA Chairman presented to “Kozloduy NPP-New Builds” PLC administrative act – Order №AA-04-30 approving site 2 for the deployment of a nuclear facility – nuclear power plant.

In accordance with national legislation and according to the IAEA guidance documents, the site selection process went through several phases, multiple analyzes and studies of proposed sites were conducted, detailed characterization and ranking of these sites was carried out and the most suitable site and project bases were defined.

Object of analysis to determine the preferred site for the deployment of a new nuclear facility, were 4 potential sites as follows:

  • Site 1 – The site is located northeast of Units 1 and 2. The land area is about 55 hectares;             
  • Site 2 – The site is located to the east of Kozloduy NPP Units 1 and 2, in the direction of the village of Harlets. The land area is about 55 hectares;             
  • Site 3 – The site is located north of Kozloduy NPP Units 5 and 6, near the bypass of the existing plant. The land area is about 53 hectares;             
  • Site 4 – The site is located to the west of Kozloduy NPP Units 3 and 4 and the Spent fuel storage, south of the cold and hot channels. The available area is about 21 hectares, within the expropriated areas of the NPP.             

Each one of the  subprojects  /Technical-economic analysis for construction of a new nuclear power unit at Kozloduy NPP site; Research and determinimg the location of the preferred site for construction of new nuclear unit at NPP “Kozloduy”; Performing an EIA of the investment proposal for building a new nuclear power unit at the NPP “Kozloduy” site/, conducted in the preparatory phase of the project for construction of a new nuclear power at the Kozloduy NPP site, evaluate and rank the described above sites on a different set of criteria, defined in the national and international documents in the field, as well as those which can help assess the characteristics of the respective sites, the reuse of existing infrastructure and interaction with existing facilities and the degree of difficulty in the implementation of the projects on the different sites.

Based on the results obtained, the most appropriate site for the deployment of a nuclear facility – nuclear power plant – was selected and proposed for approval by the NRA Chairman, Site 2.

Undeniable advantages of the site

  • Good conditions for joining to the electricity system. During the construction of one or two units with a single rated capacity of 1200 MW, the Kozloduy NPP site will not need to install additional energy transmission capacity;
  • The most up-to-date site research;
  • A large number of wells of different depths were carried out, with more than 400 samples.
  • All considered sites at Kozloduy NPP were examined on the basis of the most conservative conditions, taking into account the events in Fukushima, in accordance with the latest requirements of the NRA and the IAEA. Site 2 has the most favorable conditions:

– Higher elevation / + 35 meters / – natural flood protection;         

– Better conditions for foundation of structures;         

– Lowest potential for liquefaction of water-saturated sands during seismic impacts;         

– No active faults – the most calm from a seismic point site in Bulgaria;         

– Least excavation work compared to another site;         

– There is no possibility of “slope instability”;         

– There are no prerequisites for the formation of avalanches, mud flows and other dangerous hydrological, meteorological, etc. phenomena;         

  • Unsubstantiated allegations of high impact on the background radiation from units 5 and 6 and new unit;
  • Significant safety margin due to the huge volume of end absorber (cooling water) – over 7 km of channels length;
  • Transport for radioactive waste management (RAW) from the new nuclear power plant will be less than 1 km;
  • Availability of a single RAW disposal facility near the site ;
  • An ecological (radiation and non-radiation) monitoring system has been set up in the 30 and 100 km zone around Kozloduy NPP;
  • There are systems for physical protection, fire safety, medical facilities and emergency planning (accident management centers);
  • Training center with full-scale simulator in operation and highly qualified staff;
  • Site 2 is not located in a Nature Park or other protected area and an assessment of the specific impact of the implementation of the investment proposal on biodiversity and protected habitats has been carried out;
  • A cross-border impact assessment was carried out, which included Austria with an expert opinion confirming the adequacy of the assessment;
  • The Kozloduy EIA procedure has been declared a good practice by the UN Commission;

The administrative act, approving the preferred site, completes the preparatory phase of the project for construction of new nuclear power at the Kozloduy NPP site and removes it from the probability hypotheses, making it a proven opportunity to continue the economic life of Kozloduy NPP with one or two new units with the technology alternatives considered in the project.

Approving Site 2 for the Deployment of a Nuclear Facility

On February 21, 2020. the BNRA Chairman presented to "Kozloduy NPP-New Builds" PLC administrative act - Order №AA-04-30 approving site 2 for the deployment of a nuclear facility - nuclear power plant. In accordance with national legislation and according to the IAEA...

High international assessment for the activities of new nuclear power at Kozloduy NPP site

From 5 to 7 February 2019 A meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (the Espoo Convention) was held. The meeting also participates with a representative of Kozloduy NPP PLC.

The Forum participants received the “Recommendations for good practice” issued by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on the implementation of the Convention for activities related to nuclear energy. These recommendations describe existing good practices regarding the implementation of cross-border environmental impact assessment procedures in the field of nuclear energy. The aim of the recommendations is to assist the parties in the consistent practical implementation of the United Nations ESPOO Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (the Espoo Convention) in the field of nuclear energy through Illustrate good practices and exchange of experiences.

According to the Commission’s statement to the United Nations, Bulgaria is listed as an example of the implementation of good nuclear energy practices in three main directions. Firstly, the activities concerning the conduct of public discussions in the realization of an investment plan for the construction of new nuclear power at the Kozloduy NPP site are mentioned as good practice. According to the recommendations: “In Bulgaria, the public contribution consists of public hearings and oral and written opportunities for statements on EIA documentation. The time and duration shall relate to a reasonable period which is consistent with the Party concerned… ” And more: “Bulgaria considers good practice public consultations and hearings, held in Romanian language, organized with the Romanian Ministry of Environment, Water and forests regarding the EIA procedures for a new nuclear power project On the site of Kozloduy NPP: The public discussions took place in the cities of Dambueni, Craiova and Bucharest on 18, 19 and 20 November 2014 respectively… ”

The other two aspects, in which Bulgaria is listed as an example of the implementation of good practices, concern accordingly – the procedure of notification of interested parties and the implementation of EIA. The notification shall state that the Republic of Bulgaria shall inform the parties concerned at the earliest stage of the investment intention and no later than the notification to the Bulgarian public.

An example of good practice indicates the notification to the Republic of Austria and the Republic of Romania of the Investment plan for the construction of a MUTE on the Kozloduy NPP site. The EIA procedure for the construction of the MUTE of the latest generation at the Kozloduy NPP site is also present in the document as an example of good practice. According to the recommendations for good practice, the presentation of the non-technical task and the EIA report of Romania and Austria is considered in English. Mention that the documentation was also provided to Romania in the Romanian language and to Austria in the German language.

The inclusion of Bulgaria in the good practice recommendations on the implementation of the Convention for activities related to nuclear energy is a high and authoritative assessment of the activities carried out. International recognition for the conscientious and professional attitude towards Bulgarian energy by the teams of Kozloduy NPP PLC, Kozloduy NPP – New capacities EAD and DP “Radioactive waste”. The same inte
rnational recognition does not correspond to the The unfounded claims of the NGO group appealed the decision on EIA of MOEW for new nuclear power in Kozloduy NPP and the development of the region and the country.

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