Plant Operation

Bulgaria / IAEA Team Completes Long-Term Operation Review At Kozloduy

By David Dalton
16 July 2021

Agency praises progress, but highlights need for further work
IAEA Team Completes Long-Term Operation Review At Kozloduy
Kozloduy is the only commercial nuclear power station in Bulgaria. Curtesy Kozloduy NPP.
An International Atomic Energy Agency team has praised measures being introduced for long-term operation of the Kozloduy nuclear station in Bulgaria, but said the operator should complete implementation of an equipment qualification programme and complete an ageing management review for all of the station’s mechanical structures, systems and components.

Completion of these tasks would confirm safety levels and help manage ageing effects, the team said.

The Salto (safety aspects of long-term operation) team also called on the station to implement ageing management programmes to monitor the condition of low-voltage cables and to verify whether important cables are still reliable.

The team said Kozloduy implements comprehensive annual visual inspections of civil structures to identify ageing effects at a very early stage. The facility cooperates with technical universities and high schools to support future staffing needs for long-term operation.

The team noted Kozloduy uses comprehensive information systems to monitor and evaluate the risk of loss of tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is non-recorded, non-formalised knowledge, for example, experiences and insights by long-standing plant workers. This strategy ensures the preservation of this important resource for LTO, the team said.

Kozloduy is Bulgaria’s only nuclear power plant. It has two pressurised water reactor units in operation with an installed power of approximately 1,000 MW each. Unit 5 went into commercial operation in 1987 and Unit 6 in 1991.

The operation licences of the two units have been extended until 2027 and 2029 respectively. Units 1 to 4 have been shut down and are being decommissioned.

In January, the Bulgarian cabinet approved a report on the possibility of building a new nuclear power unit at the existing Kozloduy nuclear power station in the northwest of the country, with completion possible within 10 years.

It remains unclear what the Kozloduy proposal means for the two-unit Belene project proposed for a new site about 160km east of Kozloduy and set to use Russia-supplied nuclear technology.

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