Bulgaria will launch a study on the possibilities for construction of Unit VII at Kozloduy NPP, and not the construction itself. Today, during the government meeting, the Bulgarian Energy Holding was given a mandate to study the possibilities for this to happen to American companies, including the use of small modular reactors. This was by the Minister of Energy Temenujka Petkova after the proposal of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov for our country to build a new nuclear unit using American technology. She clarified that the government's decision sets a deadline at the end of next January for the Energy Minister to report the results of BEH study. "Within this period, I hope to have much more specific information," she added.
Minister Petkova also reminded of the negotiations between the former government of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and the American side on the topic of a new nuclear unit. Then in 2014 BEH and the American Westinghouse were exploring the possibility of building a new AP-1000 unit. The contract never came into force with the GERB government, and in the meantime the American company went through bankruptcy proceedings.
Currently, AP-1000 technology is not licensed in Europe. "We cannot build such nuclear power without being licensed in Europe," Petkova was adamant. We are just heading for talks with the United States to see the latest technology, she added. According to the minister, 4 AP-1000 units are currently being built in China.
It is too early to talk about the means by which the seventh unit of Kozloduy NPP will be built, Petkova added and explained that the decision to start the construction of the 7th unit requires completely different legislative actions, which are provided for in the Energy Act and the Act for the safe use of nuclear energy. The Minister stressed that the whole process related to the construction of new nuclear facilities requires a very long period of time. She added that our main goal is to diversify energy resources. "So we are heading to the United States to see what the latest technologies they are working on are," the minister added.
Petkova explained that before we talk about price, we must say that there is something that is priceless and that is the energy security of each country.
The Minister was adamant that our country is not giving up on the construction of the Belene NPP because there is a decision of the government and the National Assembly. She explained that our country will be short of nearly 5,000 MW. base capacity after 2030, when the shutdown of coal-fired power plants in Bulgaria will have to start. Then we will be able to rely on renewable energy and nuclear energy, Petkova explained.
In his interview, the Minister reminded that our country is practically losing serious funds after the construction of the "Turkish Stream" and that is why it is now making efforts to build a national gas transmission network. The state-owned Bulgartransgaz does not receive $ 110 billion annually due to the suspended transit of natural gas through our country to Turkey, Petkova explained.
That is why Balkan Stream is a project that is not a continuation of Turkish Stream. She also commented on the possibility of US sanctions on the "Balkan Stream" after the visit of the American expert from the Department of Energy, Francis Fannon. Minister Petkova stated that "sanctions can be imposed if there is a violation", but the Bulgarian project is built according to all EU rules and there is no reason to impose sanctions on it.
The municipalities through which the Balkan Stream project passes can receive natural gas from the pipeline. This is technically possible, as long as municipalities have the economic opportunity to afford the investment to build a diversion. Of course, there should be users who want to take advantage of the service, it became clear from Petkova's words.
Regarding people's heating bills, Petkova again reminded that the problem there is more of a communication problem. Inspections of the company are currently underway and by the end of the month there will be more clarity on the subject with the accounts, it became clear from the words of the Minister.