July 20, 2021

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts completed a review of long term operational safety at the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Bulgaria. The SALTO (Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation) review mission was requested by the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (BNRA).
Kozloduy NPP, Bulgaria’s only nuclear power plant, has two pressurized-water reactor units in operation with an installed power of approximately 1000 MWe each. Unit 5 went into commercial operation in 1987 and Unit 6 in 1991. The 9-member SALTO team focused on aspects essential to safe Long Term Operation (LTO). The operation licenses of the two units have been extended until 2027 and 2029, respectively. Units 1 to 4 have been shut down and are being decommissioned.
During the 6-15 July mission, the SALTO team reviewed preparedness, organization and programmes related to LTO based on the relevant IAEA safety standards.
The review team found plant staff to be professional, open and receptive to suggestions for improvement.
The plant management expressed a determination to address the areas identified for improvement and announced that it would continue cooperation with the IAEA in implementing safe LTO and ask the Government of Bulgaria to request a SALTO follow-up mission in 2023.
The team provided a draft report to the plant management and to the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (BNRA) at the end of the mission. The plant management and BNRA will have an opportunity to make factual comments on the draft. The IAEA will submit a final report to the plant management, BNRA and the Bulgarian Government within three months.
The Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant in Bulgaria situated 180 kilometres north of Sofia and 5 kilometres east of Kozloduy, a town on the Danube river, near the border with Romania. It is the country’s only nuclear power plant and the largest in the region. The construction of the first reactor began on 6 April 1970.[2]
Kozloduy NPP currently manages two pressurized water reactors with a total gross output of 2000 MWe and 1966 MW net. Units 5 and 6, constructed in 1987 and 1991 respectively, are VVER-1000 reactors. By 2017 Unit 5 was to be upgraded to reach a capacity of 1,100 MWe, as part of a programme to extend the life of the unit by 30 years. The older and smaller Units 1 to 4 were all shut down by 2007.
(Source: IAEA/Wikipedia – Image: Image: Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant/Vagabond)