Minister Radev expressed optimism about the NRA's licensing of Westinghouse fuel for the 5th unit of the Kozloduy NPP

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Source: BTA, archive

The contract with Rosatom expires in 2025. The Russian company confirmed its commitment, so the supply of nuclear fuel to the Kozloduy NPP has not been stopped. This was said by the Minister of Energy, Rumen Radev, during the parliamentary control in response to a question from BSP MP Dragomir Stoynev about the supply of nuclear fuel for the nuclear power plant. The Minister of Energy presented the timeline regarding the diversification of nuclear fuel and the signing of the supply contracts by Westinghouse and Framatom.

"For the licensing of non-Russian nuclear fuel, a contract has been signed with Westinghouse Electric ("Westinghouse") for the fifth unit of the Kozloduy NPP," the minister said. Nuclear fuel should be loaded in April 2024, "but on the condition that by then there is issued a permit by the Nuclear Regulatory Agency," Minister Radev said. According to him, the American company has already provided the necessary 49 analyses. After their review by the headquarters, they are to be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA), which, according to the minister, should happen on July 25. Then the licensing process will actually start.

As is known a few days ago, the Council of Ministers approved the granting of BGN 442,085 in funding to the NRA in order to provide funds for the Westinghouse nuclear fuel licensing procedure for the fifth unit of the nuclear power plant.

Dragomir Stoynev, for his part, emphasized precisely the lack of permission from the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, but according to him, "the good thing is that we still have a contract with Rosatom". The deputy once again raised a question about decision-making in the energy sector and of the energy policy. According to him, the decision-making should be leading for the ministry, and not be on the agenda of the people's representatives. In this regard, Dragomir Stoynev commented that the minister is the one who should also decide about the reactors at the site of Belene NPP.

"Mr. Minister, first of all you are the person who should say - we need these reactors, and not let the National Assembly dictate to you to sell the nuclear reactors to the Ukrainians, and secondly - let's sign contracts with "Westinghouse Electric", after as we have a permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Agency for their nuclear fuel, because the opposite, which is happening, is madness," said Stoynev.

Previously, in response to a question from another MP from the BSP, Borislav Gutsanov, on the agreement with the Turkish company Botas and Bulgargaz for gas supplies, the minister repeated his thesis that there are gaps, as well as opportunities for renegotiation, as well as his concern that the contract is for 13 years.

As is known, almost all contracts with LNG suppliers, with few exceptions, are for a period of 15 years, which is related to the overall financial scheme for the construction and operation of the liquefied natural gas facilities, including the infrastructure.

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