On 1 January 2021, Bulgaria became the newest member of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and its Data Bank.
“Bulgaria’s membership will enrich the NEA’s work in areas such as nuclear safety and regulation, decommissioning and radioactive waste management,” said OECD Secretary‑General Angel Gurría. “The accession of Bulgaria to the Agency also underlines the developing co-operation between Bulgaria and the OECD.”
Bulgaria currently has one nuclear power plant at Kozloduy with two VVER units that generate about one-third of the country’s electricity. The country has ongoing plans to build a new unit at the Kozloduy site and two more units at the Belene site. Expanded use of nuclear power is a strategic priority for Bulgaria, supporting the country’s efforts to enhance energy security while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
With several decades of VVER experience, Bulgaria will reinforce the NEA’s capacity to address matters related to pressurised water reactor technologies and their operational characteristics. At the same time, the NEA will support Bulgaria’s efforts in many technical and policy areas, including work to address nuclear skills capacity building needs in the country, the development and application of nuclear data and simulation codes, and many issues related to radioactive waste management, decommissioning and nuclear economics.
“We are very pleased to welcome Bulgaria as the 34th member of the NEA,” said NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV. “Bulgaria shares the same continuous improvement and future-oriented mindset as the NEA membership. We are very pleased to have another country from this important region of the world join us and we look forward to the contributions its experts will bring to the work of the NEA.”