Bulgaria’s Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA) on Tuesday granted an extension of the operational license of Unit 6 of the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) until 2029.
The 1,000-megawatt (MW) Unit 6, which is one of the country’s two operational units, was connected to the grid in 1991 with a projected 30-year lifespan.
“Today is a good day for Bulgaria, for the Bulgarian economy, because the role that the Kozloduy NPP plays in the country’s energy system and economic development is extremely important,” Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said.
The Kozloduy NPP provides more than 34 percent of the country’s electricity and guarantees clean energy at affordable prices, Petkova said.
“The issuance of the license has proved that our Kozloduy NPP operates in compliance with the highest standards for safety and security, and can be compared with the safest nuclear power plants in the world,” Petkova said.
A comprehensive examination of the reactor has shown that it can be operated for a long period of time, significantly exceeding the lifetime of the license, NRA chief Latchesar Kostov said.
The Kozloduy NPP has six Soviet-made pressurized water reactors in total. Unit 5, which also has a capacity of 1,000 MW, was connected to the grid in 1987, and in 2017 its service life was extended until 2027.
The first four 440 MW units were shut down in 2002 and 2006 as one of the conditions of Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union.