Westinghouse has showed renewed interested in investments in Bulgaria's only operational nuclear power plant Kozloduy, according to Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism Traicho Traikov.
According to the Sofia news agency Novinite, Westinghouse has declared interest in participating in the modernization of the Bulgarian Kozloduy NPP in order to extend the life of its two operational reactors – Unit 5 and Unit 6.
The company has also offered to participate in the supplies of nuclear fuel for the Bulgarian nuclear plant. Russia has traditionally been the sole supplier of nuclear fuel to Bulgaria.
This is the second time in less than a year of Westinghouse demonstrating interest in investments in the Bulgarian nuclear plant in Kozloduy. Back in April 2010, as Traikov was in the USA seeking American investments for the construction of the second Bulgarian nuclear plant in Belene, Westinghouse indicated it could be interested in building a seventh reactor in the plant in Kozloduy.
At the time, Westinghouse presented to Traikov the opportunities of its new generation reaction AP1000.. The US corporation also said it was ready to license its nuclear fuel for the Soviet-made Bulgarian reactors.
However, in the fall of 2010, Bulgarian Ambassador to the USA Elena Poptodorova said that a Westinghouse investment in Kozloduy was not on the agenda. US Ambassador in Sofia James Warlick told Novinite that Westinghouse will likely be considering the construction of new reactors in Kozloduy, should the Bulgarian government start a procedure for such an investment.
Only the two VVER-type 1000 MW reactors at Kozloduy are in operation after Bulgaria agreed to shut down the 440 MW reactors 1-4 in 2002 and 2006 as part of its EU accession negotiations.
In the fall of 2010, Bulgaria's Economy Minister explained that the license of Unit 5 of the Kozloduy plant expires in 2017, and of Unit 6 – in 2019, but that the government will take measures to extend their life. In November 2010, the newly-appointed CEO of the Kozloduy NPP Kostadin Dimitrov forecast that the life of the two reactors will be extended by 20 years.
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