Thacking prices chain: NPP Kozloduy

Existing plants operate with low costs and with expanding of their life-time are converted into machines for making money

Capacity and production

NPP is the only nuclear power plant in the country with 3760 MW installed capacity, respectively of 2000 MW installed capacity after shutting down of the first four units in 2007. The state Bulgarian Energy Holding owns 100% of nuclear plant capital.

Since starting in 1974 NPP Kozloduy produced 481.8 TWh power. This energy is comparable to the total power consumption in the country for the past 15 years. Record year of production was 2002. when the plant has produced 20.2 TWh. Production decreased by 25% after the closure of units 1-4, although 45% of installed capacity is decommissioned. This is due to the increased use of available capacity - approximately 70% by 2006. Up to 90% since then – indicator by which Kozloduy PWR type nuclear reactors exceeds average world levels.

About 1 TWh, or 6.5 percent of gross energy generated is used for own needs of NPP. The rest – generated net power, is intended for sales



Regulated revenues and prices

The majority of power generated by the plant is designed for protected consumers. These are all household customers and small and medium enterprises. Both the quantity and price of that power are defined annually by the State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (regulator) (SEWRC). According to the latest decision of the Commission for prices, 66% of net production of plant or 9.7 million MWh are designed for the regulated market.



The method of regulation applied by the regulator towards NPP is "rate of return". In this method, the Commission approves the necessary costs of the plant for one year commencing from 1 July of current year. These are added to average weighted rate of return on own and raised capital (less than 2%). The sum of these two quantities determines the total amount of N-plant revenues for one year period. For 2010 the regulator approved revenues of 446 million BGN.



Based on the approved revenues and amounts of energy intended to the regulated market regulatory commission sets two-component price of generated nuclear power. For 2010 component "price for energy" is 15.75 BGN/MWh, and component "price for availability" is 28.06 BGN/MWh.

Component Price for Energy

Чрез компонентата "цена за енергия" се покриват променливите горивни разходи и вноските във фонд "Извеждане от експлоатация на ядрени съоръжения" (ИЕЯС) и фонд "Радиоактивни отпадъци" (РАО).

Component Price for Energy 

By component " price for energy " are covered variable fuel costs and payments to fund Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities (DNF) and the Radioactive Waste Fund (RWF). Total payments for the two funds amounted to 76 million BGN per year or 5 BGN/MWh. For comparison, the average provisions of the U.S. operators of nuclear power plants for re-processed fuel and decommissioning are 2 USD/MWh (3 BGN/MWh).



In Sweden the costs for re-processed fuel 1,3 USD/MWh, and costs of decommissioning are assessed as 10-15% of construction costs and its budget is accumulated through transfers for reserve from the price. In France, these two types of costs are also calculated as a percentage of construction costs and range between 10 and 15% of them. On the other hand, the costs for decommissioning in Britain are calculated as the absolute amount of 1 billion British pounds for each reactor.



Component "Price for Availability" 

By component "price for availability" are covered the remaining costs of the plant, the main of which are maintenance costs, repairs, depreciation, wages. Two-component price corresponds to the different nature of the costs of nuclear power - permanent costs carried out uniformly, regardless of whether the plant is running or not, and fuel costs to be carried out only when the plant produces.



Existing plants operate at extremely low cost and with increasing expanding of lifetime become in practice machines for making money. Their expenses - with the exception of hydropower - are the lowest in the spectrum, making them extremely attractive to providers of basic power. Data for 2008 providethat production costs (excluding capital expenditures) of 1 MWh nuclear power in the U.S. are 18.7 USD/MWh. For comparison, the regulated price of Kozloduy NPP for 2010 are 45.84 BGN/MWh.




If we look at the dynamics determined by SEWRC prices of nuclear power in the period 2002 to 2010 we would see that the price of energy varies between 11-17BGN/MWh without sustainable trend over the years. Price of availability increases annually - from 13.63 BGN/MWh in 2002 to 28.06 BGN/MWh in 2010, i.e. is doubled.



Sales of free market 

Let us not forget the market segment in which Kozloduy NPP sells about 40 per cent of net power generated. There is no official information on prices, quantities and contractors. According to information from market participants currently nuclear energy is traded at prices ranging between 60 and 70 BGN/MWh, which brings revenues for the plant close to those of the regulated market.


As a recapitualtion, the cost for nuclear power generation in Kozloduy NPP is in the range of 55-60BGN/MWh and the annual revenues that the plant receives on the regulated and free market are 800-900 million BGN.

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