Energy Minister in Telephone Conversation with Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova had a phone talk with Director General of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) William Magwood, the Ministry of Energy informed on Tuesday.
During the conversation, Petkova said that nuclear energy plays an important role in ensuring national, regional and European energy security. She added that for the past 40 years, the Kozloduy nuclear power plant has been a pillar of Bulgarian energy, accounting for over 30 per cent of the national energy production. Petkova also briefed Magwood on the procedure of implementation of the Belene NPP project as a long-term solution for providing reliable energy and for guaranteeing the delivery of energy to the entire region.
Bulgaria's forthcoming NEA membership, as of January 1, 2021, was also among the topics discussed. The decision to join NEA was taken by the Bulgarian government at the end of 2019. So far, Bulgaria's candidacy has been reviewed and supported by all NEA member states. The OECD Council will have the last say.
Petkova and Magwood also discussed the idea to establish a Regional Initiative for Nuclear Advancement within the NEA framework. Its aim will be to unite the countries of Central and Eastern Europe that are interested in developing nuclear energy for peaceful uses. Four priority fields of future cooperation were outlined: analysis and development of long-term energy reliability; radioactive waste management; effective communication with the public, and development of the infrastructure and education related to innovations. Minister Petkova said that Bulgaria is interested in the first three of these fields.
Magwood briefed Petkova on the current situation regarding the safe exploitation of NPPs globally, and on the performance of the nuclear sector amid the COVID-19 crisis. A recent survey among the NEA member states shows that NPPs are an exceptionally reliable source of energy.