This report provides information on the status and development of nuclear power programmes in Bulgaria, including factors related to the effective planning, decision making and implementation of the nuclear power programme that together lead to safe and economical operations of nuclear power plants.
The CNPP summarizes organizational and industrial aspects of nuclear power programmes and provides information about the relevant legislative, regulatory and international framework in Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian nuclear power programme was launched in 1974 with the commissioning of the first nuclear power unit of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant. The nuclear facilities are concentrated at the Kozloduy NPP site, where six power units were built (Units 5 and 6 are in operation and Units 1–4 are in the process of decommissioning). In 2020, nuclear power comprised about 40.8% of the total electricity production in Bulgaria. The Kozloduy NPP site has a wet type spent nuclear fuel interim storage facility and a dry spent fuel storage facility.
1. COUNTRY ENERGY OVERVIEW
1.1. ENERGY INFORMATION
1.1.1. Energy policy
The Republic of Bulgaria pursues a transparent energy policy in respect to the national and public interest. The country's energy policy aims to promote market principles in the energy sector, guarantee energy independence, develop sustainable energy, and use of energy and energy resources efficiently. The main goals of Bulgaria’s energy policy are:
Achieving of economically effective and secure delivery of electricity, meeting the requirements for environment protection;
Turning Bulgaria into energy independent and competitive country;
Protecting customers’ interests by providing of equal access, transparent procedures and economically founded prices;
Managing effectively mineral resources to defend the national interests;
Garnering active participation of the country in construction of unified and stable European energy market;
Refining the energy infrastructure;
Improving energy efficiency and reducing of greenhouse emissions in accordance with the priorities of "Europe 2020" strategy;
Developing nuclear energy in accordance with contemporary requirements for reliability, safety and efficiency.
The country's energy policy pursues the main goals of the European Union's energy policy, namely security of supply, competitiveness and sustainability, while respecting the five interconnected dimensions of the Energy Union: energy security; the internal energy market; energy efficiency contributing to limiting consumption; decarbonisation of the economy and research, innovation and competitiveness.
Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD (BEH) is the holding company that comprises of a group of companies which principally operate in the field of generation, supply and transmission of electricity and the transmission, supply and storage of natural gas and coal. The sole owner of the capital is the Bulgarian state through the Minister of Energy.
1.1.2. Estimated available energy
188.8.131.52. Coal mining
Maritsa Iztok Mines is a subsidiary of BEH which provide lignite coal for electric power generation in thermal power plants at the Maritsa Iztok complex. The mines operate the largest lignite coal field in Bulgaria, which supplies coal for four thermal power plants and a factory for the production of briquettes. The total coal output at the Maritsa Iztok Mines for 2020 was 20.6 million tonnes, representing 92.4% of the total output of coal used for the generation of electricity and heat in Bulgaria.
The priority share of brown coal production belongs to the coal mines in the Pernik and Bobovdol basins.
In 2020, in Bulgaria there was no extraction of black coal.
184.108.40.206. Natural gas
The companies extracting natural gas in the country are Petroceltic, and Oil and Gas Exploration and Production. In 2020, these two companies extracted 55 million m3 of natural gas, 90% more than in 2019.
Bulgargaz is the public supplier of natural gas with functions related to the purchase and sale of natural gas. Bulgartransgaz is the combined operator for transmission, transit and storage of natural gas. The two companies are subsidiaries of BEH. The total import of natural gas in Bulgaria in 2020 was 2266 million m3, which is 18% less than the total import in 2019. In 2020, domestic natural gas consumption was 2 404 million m3, or 14% less than in 2019.
The largest gas distribution companies operating in the country are Overgas Network, Sitigas Bulgaria and Aresgas.
In 2020, natural gas distribution in Bulgaria was 535million m3, which is 6% more than in 2019.
220.127.116.11. Oil and oil products
The oil and oil products market in the country is completely liberalized.
Further information is available from the National Statistical Institute
18.104.22.168. Energy reserves
The total amount of existing and probable reserves or resources of coal at the end of 2019 is estimated at 1994.9 million tons. Reserves of lignite coal are also estimated to be prevalent. The individual data for proven, probable reserves and resources of black and lignite coal for 2019 is confidential according to the Law of Statistics. Data for solid fuels includes the sum of proven, probable reserves and resources of brown coal, lignite coal and black coal.
The data for proven, probable reserves and resources of crude oil is confidential according to the Law of Statistics.
Natural gas data is a sum of proven and probable reserves, and resources for 2019.
Further information is available from the National Statistical Institute (www.nsi.bg/en) and Table 1.
TABLE 1. ESTIMATED AVAILABLE ENERGY SOURCES
Note: Latest available data for 2019 from the National Statistical Institute annual statistical survey on underground reserves, covering economic subjects, holders of concessions and firms declared receipts from mining industry. The total amounts are sums of proven reserves and probable reserves, and resources. Solid in million tonnes and gas in billion m3.
* c.d.: confidential data.
** —: data not available
1.1.3. Energy statistics
TABLE 2. ENERGY STATISTICS
|Final Energy consumption [PJ]||2000||2005||2010||2015||2019||Compound
rate 2000–2019 (%)
|Coal, Lignate and Peat||41||43||19||16||15||-5.15|
|Bioenergy and Waste||23||31||38||49||55||4.70|
Source: National Statistical Institute.
* Latest available data.
** Energy consumption = primary production + recovered & recycled products + imports - exports - international marine bunkers + stock changes.
*** Solid fuels include coal, lignite, coke oven coke and coal briquettes.
1.2. THE ELECTRICITY SYSTEM
1.2.1. Electricity system and decision making process
According to the Energy Act, the state policy in the energy sector shall be implemented through the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers. The National Assembly shall adopt the Strategy for Sustainable Energy Development of the Republic of Bulgaria on a motion by the Council of Ministers and by the said strategy the basic objectives, stages, means and methods for the development of the energy sector shall be defined. The Council of Ministers shall direct the energy sector of the country in line with the strategy adopted by the National Assembly. The national energy policy shall be implemented by the Minister of Energy.
The regulation of activities in the energy sector is carried out by the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC), an independent, specialized state body and a legal entity. The EWRC reports on its activities to the National Assembly. The electricity market in Bulgaria is regulated by the Electricity Trading Rules (ETR), which are adopted by the EWRC. The ETR are adopted in implementation of the Energy Act. All participants in the electricity market are required to comply with the provisions of the Energy Act and the ETR.
The operational management in the power sector is carried out by the Electricity System Operator EAD (ESO). ESO implements the single operational planning, coordination and management of the electricity system of Bulgaria and the joint operation of the power system with the power systems of other countries, and ensures the operation, maintenance and reliability of the grid, maintenance of auxiliary grids, as well as repair works and services in the power sector. The company transmits electricity on the national mainland network.
The necessary regulatory framework for the functioning of the balancing energy market was created.
On the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange (IBEX) are traded products of various delivery periods depending on the segment on which they are offered. The power exchange market operator administrates two market segments on which short-term products are traded- with delivery period of one hour (Intraday and Day-ahead) and one market segment where long-term products are traded- delivery period from one day to one year (Bilateral contracts). The Bulgarian Electricity Exchange also implements European policy for the integration of national markets and the creation of well-functioning regional markets, and subsequently a common European market. As a result of legal changes from the beginning of 2018, all electricity produced for the free market is traded solely on IBEX's trading platforms.
Following the approval and introduction of Standardized Freight Profiles on 1 April 2016 by the EWRC, low voltage residential customers have not only the right but are also able to actually change their electricity supplier and conclude transactions at freely negotiated prices. According to adopted in 2020 amendments in the Energy Act, as of 1 October 2020, the obligation of the final suppliers of electricity to supply non-household consumers with sites connected to the electricity distribution network at low voltage level has been abolished. According to the changes, final suppliers can now be suppliers of electricity at regulated prices only to residential customers.
Transactions in electricity at prices regulated Energy and Water Regulatory Commission shall be concluded between:
the producers and end suppliers or the public provider for quantities of electricity determined by the EWRC within the availability for generation of electricity for the generating companies, from which the public provider shall purchase electricity, as well as the quantity of electricity, in accordance with which the public provider shall conclude transactions with the end suppliers;
the public provider and end suppliers for quantities of electricity determined by the EWRC;
the end suppliers and residential customers for energy works connected to the electricity distribution network at the low voltage level, where these customers have not chosen another provider.
The electricity transmission network operator shall conclude transactions with the neighbouring systems for mutual compensation of cross-border flows of electricity.
Bulgaria's electricity system has a significant capacity for intersystem connectivity, and it is expected to grow in the coming years. It is expected that by 31 December 2025, in accordance with the requirement of Article 16, point 8 of Regulation (EU) 2019/943 on the internal electricity market, the system operators will make available to the participants in the electricity market an interconnection capacity of at least 70% of the transmission capacity, while respecting the operational security boundaries.
1.2.2. Structure of electric power sector
Bulgaria has a diversified electricity mix, including nuclear and thermal power plants and renewable energy sources (water, wind, solar and biomass). The National Electricity Company (Natsionalna Elektricheska Kompania EAD, NEK) is a joint-stock company, the capital of which is owned by Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH). The main activity of NEK EAD is electricity generation and trading. The company has a license for the activity of public power supply of electric power.
Electricity System Operator EAD (ESO) carries out unified operational planning, coordination and management of the electric power system of Bulgaria, performs the joint work of the electric power system with the electricity systems of other countries, ensures the operation, maintenance and reliable functioning of the electricity transmission network, and performs the maintenance of the auxiliary network as well as energy related refurbishments and services. The company transmits electricity through the national grid and to third countries. As a member at the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) and as a major partner in the Balkan region, ESO EAD seeks to increase not only transmission reliability but also cost-effectiveness in asset management by introducing and using the latest planning, maintenance and monitoring methods. ESO EAD is certified as an independent transmission operator.
IBEX was established in January 2014 as a 100% subsidiary of the Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD. IBEX holds a 10-year license issued by the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission for ‘organisation of the electricity market’ in the Republic of Bulgaria.
IBEX is a full member of MRC (Multi-Regional Coupling), which is the largest union of market zones in the European Union (EU), as well as an associate member of Price Coupling of Regions (PCR) working on the realisation of a common energy market in the EU. As of January 2016, IBEX is a full member of the Association of European Energy Exchanges (Europex). IBEX's efforts are fully focused on providing a reliable, transparent and competitive trading platform for electricity that enables trading participants to enter into market-based transactions through a variety of products. To this end, IBEX offers day-ahead market segment, a centralized market for the purchase and sale of electricity through bilateral contracts through auctions, continuous treading, hourly products screens, and since 2018 the intra-day market segment.
Currently the sole owner of the capital of the company is Bulgarian Stock Exchange - Sofia AD (BSE).
The electricity distribution is carried out by regional companies—electricity distribution network operators:
Elektrorazpredelenie Sever AD is a join-stock company whose licensed territory has an area of approximately 30,000 square km and covers 9 administrative districts in Northeast Bulgaria;
CEZ Distribution Bulgaria AD is a joint-stock company in whose license territory falls Western Bulgaria and is the largest electricity distribution company in the country;
Elektrorazpredelenie Yug EAD (ERP Yug) is the electricity distribution company in Southeaster Bulgaria, which holds a license for electricity distribution in nine districts.
Elektrorazpredelenie Golden Sands AD has a license for electricity distribution No L-142-07/13.08.2004 on the territory on the Golden Sands, issued by the EWRC.
The gross electricity generation in 2020 was 40.8 TWh, 7.9% less than the generated in 2019. There was an increase in the generation of energy by the NPP units (+0.4%), factory power plants (+2.0%), pumped storage hydropower plants (+18.2%) and renewable energy sources (+1.0%). There was a decrease in gross electricity generation by heat production or supply power plants (–1.5%) and thermal power plants (–21.4%) in 2020 compared to 2019.
The structure of electricity generation is dominated by thermal power plants using coal, followed by the Kozloduy NPP. Major sources for the electricity generation are local coal and nuclear fuel (see Fig. 1).
FIG. 1. Structure of gross electricity generation by fuel.
The share of local energy resources in electricity generation in 2020 was 95.0%, while the share of imported resources was 5.0%, where nuclear energy is reported as a local energy resource.
Gross domestic electricity consumption in 2020 was 37.4 TWh, 2.8% less that in 2019.
Electricity generation from renewable energy sources accounted for 15.6% of gross domestic energy consumption in 2020.
Final consumption of electricity in 2020 amounted to 30.3TWh, or 2.3% less than in 2019, including for industrial and the public sectors.
Detailed information about the electric power sector is available from the Bulletin on the State and Development of the Energy Sector in the Republic of Bulgaria at the Ministry of Energy web site: www.me.government.bg
1.2.3. Main indicators
TABLE 3. INSTALLED CAPACITY ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION
|Electricity production (GWh)||2000||2005||2010||2015||2019||Compound
rate 2000–2019 (%)
|Total||40 924||44 365||46 639||49 205||45 043||0.51|
|Coal, Lignate and Peat||17 207||18 625||22 606||22 522||17 563||0.11|
|Natural gas||1 912||1 729||1 967||1 864||1 986||0.20|
|Bioenergy and Waste||15||17||35||272||1 483||27.35|
|Hydro||2 951||4 730||5 693||6 147||3 877||1.45|
|Nuclear||18 178||18 653||15 249||15 383||16 646||-0.46|
|Wind||0||5||681||1 452||1 310|
|Solar||0||0||15||1 383||1 832|
Source: National Statistical Institute.
* Latest available data.
** Electricity distribution losses are not deducted.
TABLE 4. ENERGY RELATED RATIOS
|Energy consumption (GJ/capita)||95.49||108.63||99.56||108.96||112.91||113.12|
|Final electricity consumption (kW·h/capita)||2968.2||3322.5||3597.3||3946.2||4255.3||4317.7|
|Final consumption of electricity in households (kW·h/capita)||1206.6||1168.7||1401.5||1482.9||1560.6||1554.6|
|Electricity production/Energy production (%)||30.3||28.7||33.4||32.8||33.08||29.9|
|Nuclear/Total electricity (%)||46.5||43.7||32.9||31.5||35.0||38.0|
|Ratio of external dependency (%)||46.4||47.3||40.1||36.4||36.5||38.1|
Source: National Statistical Institute.
* Latest available data.
2. NUCLEAR POWER SITUATION
2.1. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND CURRENT ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
The beginning of the nuclear programme in Bulgaria was set after the Geneva conference based on the ‘atoms for peace’ premise and has remained the preferred strategy of the political leadership ever since.
The first step in peaceful use was the construction and commissioning of the IRT-2000 research reactor and a programme for nuclear applications and scientific research. The reactor was commissioned in 1961 and shut down with an order issued by the State Committee on the Use of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes (CUAEPP) in 1989. In 1999, it was permanently shut down based on a Council of Ministers’ decree.
In 1966, an agreement with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was signed for the procurement of commercial reactors for electricity generation. This agreement set the foundations of the Bulgarian nuclear power programme.
The first two units at the Kozloduy NPP, the WWER-440/230 model, were put into operation in 1974 and 1975 respectively. These two units were permanently shut down at the end of 2002 based on a Council of Ministers’ decree. In 2010, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency issued to the State Enterprise Radioactive Waste licences for operation of Units 1 and 2 as facilities for radioactive waste management, followed by decommissioning licences in 2014.
Completion of construction works and subsequent connection to the grid of the Kozloduy NPP Units 3 and 4 took place in 1980 and 1982 respectively. The two units were permanently shut down at the end of 2006. In 2013, the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (BNRA or NRA) issued licences to the SE RAW for their operation as facilities for radioactive waste management, followed by decommissioning licences, in 2016.
An increase in electricity demand resulted in the construction of another two 1000 MW units at the Kozloduy NPP, Units 5 and 6, which were commissioned in 1987 and 1991 respectively.
From 2014–2018, the Plant Lifetime Extension (PLEX) Project was completed. The project results demonstrated the units’ technical capabilities for long term operation — until 2047 for Unit 5 and 2051 for Unit 6, respectively. The NRA chairperson issued operating licences for Unit 5 in 2017 and for Unit 6 in 2019.
The two storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel from WWER reactors at the Kozloduy NPP site include wet storage and dry storage. The spent nuclear fuel facility for wet storage was commissioned in 1990. Later in 2016, the NRA issued a licence for operation of the dry storage facility.
A facility for radioactive waste processing and storage was built in 2001 at the Kozloduy NPP site.
A second site for construction of new nuclear units was selected in the early 1980s near the town of Belene. About 40% of construction works and 80% of equipment deliveries for the first unit were completed in 1991, when construction was suspended owing to lack of financial resources.
In 2002, the Government initiated preliminary studies on expansion of nuclear energy, leading to a decision to resume the Belene NPP Project. In 2005, the Council of Ministers issued a decision for construction of two 1000 MW units. The Council of Ministers’ decision about the Belene NPP Project was subsequently suspended in 2012. In 2018, the Minister of Energy was then assigned to explore possibilities regarding the construction of the Belene NPP.
On 11 April 2012, a decision "in principle" was made by the Council of Ministers to build a new nuclear power plant on the site of Kozloduy NPP.
In order to prepare the new nuclear power project, on 5 May 2012, the Bulgarian energy holding (BEH), as a principle, gave the necessary permission to Kozloduy NPP being a sole owner of the capital, to establish on 9 May 2012, the special purpose vehicle Kozloduy NPP- New Build plc. The company has been responsible for whole management of project’s processes and activities.
As a result of the compliance with the regulatory requirements, on 26 August 2013, the NRA Chairman issued a Permit for determining the location (site selection) for deployment of new nuclear power at the Kozloduy NPP site.
The project for the construction of a national disposal facility for radioactive waste is underway. This facility is intended for disposal of conditioned, short-lived, low and intermediate level waste from the nuclear facilities and nuclear applications. The Radiana site, selected for that purpose, is located in the vicinity of the Kozloduy NPP site.
2.1.2. Current organizational structure
IG. 2. Institutions involved in the nuclear sector.
Bulgaria has solidified the institutional framework needed for the development and implementation of the National Programme on Use of Nuclear Energy and for effective state regulation and control. Responsibilities and functions are clearly defined and distributed among the various institutions as follows:
The NRA is the national nuclear regulatory authority. It maintains the legislative and regulatory framework for the nuclear facilities and activities and conducts the licensing process and exercises regulatory control, including enforcement;
The Ministry of Energy is responsible for state energy policy development and implementation. The Ministry develops and implements the national energy strategy and national strategy for management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste;
The EWRC performs independent control of generated electricity prices and issues licenses for generation of electricity and thermal energy;
The Ministry of Health implements the state policy in the field of protection against the health risks due to ionizing radiation. Through its implementing bodies, the Ministry carries out responsibilities related to the state health control;
The Ministry of Environment and Water manages the National System for Environmental Monitoring and is the competent authority for environmental impact assessments;
The Ministry of Interior ensures the security of nuclear facilities in the area of physical protection. The Ministry, through the Fire Safety and Civil Protection General Directorate, coordinates the activities for protection of the public and the national economy in cases of disasters and emergencies;
Kozloduy NPP is the operator of the only nuclear power plant in Bulgaria;
SE RAW was established under the Act on the Safe Use of Nuclear Energy (ASUNE). It is the national operator of radioactive waste management facilities and nuclear facilities under decommissioning;
Pursuant to Article 5 of ASUNE, coordination between the institutions is the responsibility of the NRA chairperson.
2.2. NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS: OVERVIEW
2.2.1. Status and performance of nuclear power plants
TABLE 5. STATUS AND PERFORMANCE OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
|BELENE-1||PWR||953||Cancelled Constr.||KOZNPP||JSC ASE||1/1/1987||3/28/2012|
|BELENE-2||PWR||953||Cancelled Constr.||KOZNPP||JSC ASE||3/31/1987||3/28/2012|
|Data source: IAEA - Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).|
|Note: Table is completely generated from PRIS data to reflect the latest available information and may be more up to date than the text of the report.|
FIG. 3. Kozloduy NPP geographic location.
As of 2007, only the two 1000 MW units of Kozloduy NPP are in operation. In recent years, the Kozloduy NPP share in the Bulgarian electricity generation mix has ranged from 31% to 37.5%. In 2020 the share of Kozloduy NPP reached 40.8 %.
FIG. 4. Nuclear energy share in the Bulgarian electricity generation mix
Also in recent years, the gross electricity generation of the Kozloduy NPP two units has ranged between 15.5–16.6 million MWh.
2.2.2. Plant upgrading, plant life management and licence renewals
The result of the Kozloduy NPP Units 5 and 6 modernisation programme, completed from 1998–2008, has served as the basis for continuing activities for preparation of the Ageing Management Programme for Long Term Operation (LTO). In 2009, a two stage Programme for Preparation of the Kozloduy NPP Units 5 and 6 LTO was developed:
Stage 1, from 2012 to 2014: Complex assessment and residual lifetime assessment of the equipment and facilities of Kozloduy NPP Units 5 and 6 — completed within the specified period.
Stage 2, from 2014 to 2018: Investment project for implementing the Kozloduy NPP Units 5 and 6 LTO Preparation Programme. The second stage of the Units 5 and 6 PLEX Project at the Kozloduy NPP was completed.
Based on the analyses and studies conducted, it was concluded that there are no constraints on the safe operation for the period of extended plant life until 2047 for Unit 5and until 2051 for Unit 6, allowing for renewal of the Kozloduy NPP Units 5 and 6 operating licences.
In accordance with the ASUNE, based on the application for licence renewal (including the periodic safety review results), the NRA issued a ten year operating licence for the Kozloduy NPP Unit 5 in 2017. Further, in 2019, the NRA issued a ten year operating licence for the Kozloduy NPP Unit 6.
The planned power uprate of Unit 6 was completed in 2017. Based on the permit issued by the NRA, Unit 6 has been consistently operated at 104%Nnom (3120 MW) thermal power since March 2018. The planned power uprate of Unit 5 was completed in 2019. Based on the permit issued by the NRA, Unit 5 has been consistently operated at 104%Nnom (3120 MW) thermal power since November 2019.
2.2.3. Permanent shutdown and decommissioning process
The Kozloduy NPP Units 1–4 are in the process of decommissioning. The units were shut down as pairs in 2002 and 2006, in conformity with commitments undertaken by Bulgaria during its accession to the European Union. Supervision of these units was transferred to SE RAW. In 2014 and 2016, the NRA issued decommissioning licences for Units 1 and 2 and Units 3 and 4, respectively.
TABLE 6. STATUS OF DECOMMISSIONING PROCESS OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
|Reactor Unit||Shutdown Reason||Decommissioning Strategy||Current Decommissioning Phase||Decommissioning Licensee||License Terminated
|Kozloduy-1||Resolution of the Council of Ministries on 31 December 2002||Immediate dismantling||Partial dismantling||SE RAW||2030|
|Kozloduy-2||Resolution of the Council of Ministries on 31 December 2002||Immediate dismantling||Partial dismantling||SE RAW||2030|
|Kozloduy-3||Resolution of the Council of Ministries on 31 December 2006||Immediate dismantling||Partial dismantling||SE RAW||2030|
|Kozloduy-4||Resolution of the Council of Ministries on 31 December 2006||Immediate dismantling||Partial dismantling||SE RAW||2030|
The decommissioning strategy for Units 1-4 is for immediate dismantling, with the target date for decommissioning activities to be completed by 2030.
2.3. FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NUCLEAR POWER SECTOR
2.3.1. Nuclear power development strategy
According to the Act on the Safe Use of Nuclear Energy, a nuclear power plant shall be constructed by a decision of the Council of Ministers. A proposal for construction of a nuclear power plant shall be submitted by the Minister of Energy, accompanied by an assessment of:
nuclear safety and radiation protection, environmental impact and physical protection;
the socio-economic significance of the construction of a nuclear power plant for the entire country or for particular functional regions;
radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel to be generated as a result of the operation of the nuclear power plant and radioactive waste and spent fuel management.
22.214.171.124. Belene NPP Project
On 22 May 2019, the call for the procedure to select a strategic investor for the Belene Nuclear Power Plant project was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The call also gave an opportunity to declare interest in acquiring a minority shareholding in the project, and/or for purchasing electricity from the power plant.
Within the set deadline, 19 August 2019, thirteen companies submitted their applications. On 19 December 2019, a short list of candidates was published, to whom a call for binding tenders was submitted. The shortlisted companies included China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), Atomenergoprom AD as part of Rosatom, Korea Hydro-Nuclear Power, Framatom SAS, France and General Electric, USA. It is intended that negotiations will be initiated with the companies included in the shortlist to structure the Belene NPP project.
126.96.36.199. Kozloduy NPP–New Build
On 21 February 2020, the Chairman of the NRA issued an Order, which approved the site for the deployment of a new nuclear installation- nuclear power plant Site 2.
With the issuance of the Order, the first stage of the licensing regime for commissioning and construction of nuclear installation - nuclear power plant has been completed. The next stage envisages design of the nuclear installation, which includes activities for preparation of the necessary documents for issuing a design permit by the NRA, conducting a designer selection procedure, preparation of a technical design and approval of the technical design by the NRA.
Detailed information about the Kozloduy NPP–New Build management and staffing as well as the activities carried out by the company are available at https://npp-nb.bg/?page_id=1491&lang=en
TABLE 7. PLANNED NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
|Reactor unit/Project name||Owner||Type||Capacity in MW(e)||Expected construction start year||Expected commercial year|
|KNPP-7/Kozloduy 7||Kozloduy NPP–New Build||PWR||up to 1200 MW||—*||—*|
Note: PWR — pressurized water reactor.
* —: data not available.
2.4. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
2.5. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN THE OPERATION OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
The Kozloduy NPP is the nuclear operator of the plant and is therefore considered the ‘Licence Holder’ according to the Convention on Nuclear Safety. The company holds also a licence, issued by the State Energy Regulation Commission for the production of electrical and thermal energy. The sole shareholder is BEH.
The Kozloduy NPP is a legal entity, registered under the Commercial Law. The Kozloduy NPP is managed under a one tier management system, where the managing bodies act as the sole shareholder and the board of directors. The Kozloduy NPP organizes and manages its commercial activities in accordance with the Statute and the Corporate Structure and Activity Code.
All nuclear facilities and other equipment of the Kozloduy NPP are identified as one nuclear installation and the Kozloduy NPP is the ‘Nuclear Installation Operator’ under the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage. Within this role, it is the bearer of the relevant civil liability.
2.6. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN THE DECOMMISSIONING OF NPPs
Organizations involved in the Kozloduy NPP Units 1–4 decommissioning include: (i) the Ministry of Energy, which monitors the status of the decommissioning process; and (ii) the SE RAW, which carries out the decommissioning process and the preparatory work for decommissioning Units 1–4. From 2014-2016, all four units were issued decommissioning licences.
At the national level, a decommissioning fund was established to finance the decommissioning process at nuclear facilities. Recognizing the exceptional social, economic and financial burden of the commitment, the European Union provided a financial contribution for the Kozloduy NPP Units 1–4 decommissioning. The Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund was established, administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in order to support the decommissioning activities and to mitigate the negative consequences of the units’ early closure.
2.7. FUEL CYCLE INCLUDING WASTE MANAGEMENT
The updated Strategy on Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Management until 2030  was adopted by the Council of Ministers in 2015. This document presents the national programme on spent fuel and radioactive waste management as required by Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom of 19 July 2011, establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste .
The strategy lays down the overall vision, objectives and principles on safe spent fuel and radioactive waste management, covering all types and stages of their management from generation to disposal:
Spent fuel management: Bulgaria will continue spent fuel reprocessing abroad. This approach is assessed as the most acceptable alternative for spent fuel management in terms of safety and economical point of view. Interim on-site spent fuel buffer storage facilities guarantee Kozloduy NPP operations.
Radioactive waste management: The main priority project is construction, commissioning and operation of a national near surface disposal facility for short lived low and intermediate level waste. High level waste from spent fuel reprocessing as well long lived low and intermediate level waste is to be disposed in deep geological repository. Measures for implementation of the radioactive waste minimization requirement is planned.
The Strategy on Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Management until 2030  is available at the Ministry of Energy web site at www.me.government.bg/bg/themes/aktualizirana-strategiya-za-upravlenie-na-otraboteno-yadreno-gorivo-i-radioaktivni-otpadaci-do-2030-g-1657-0.html
Pursuant to Art. 74 of the Law on Safe Use of Nuclear Energy in the year 2019, a new draft of the Strategy on Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Management was prepared, which represents an update of the Strategy of September 2, 2015. This update is dictated by the need to apply the requirements of Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom and presents the changes that have taken place, taking into account technical and scientific progress as appropriate, as well as recommendations, lessons learned and good practices from peer reviews.
2.7.1. Fuel cycle
The Kozloduy NPP fuel cycle does not include the purchase of uranium, its conversion or enrichment, but only the purchase of fuel assemblies from the supplier, their interim storage at the plant site after being removed from reactor cores, spent fuel transport for reprocessing and further disposal of high level waste. Those activities are based on the agreement between Bulgaria and the Russian Federation as well as on commercial contracts for the supply of nuclear fuel and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.
In accordance with the European Energy Security Strategy , a study was conducted to explore options on diverse enriched uranium supplies for the manufacture of fuel assemblies as well as for identification of an alternative supplier of fuel assemblies.
The Kozloduy NPP has increased burnup and achieved a reduction of spent fuel generation during its transition to a four year fuel cycle. These design modifications have also lead to a decrease in the specific consumption of natural uranium. In 2016, the Kozloduy NPP made a transition to a modified fuel assembly which can reach higher burnup and has better performance. This transition will also lead to a further reduction of the generated spent nuclear fuel up to 12.5%.
2.7.2. Spent fuel management
The spent fuel is stored within the Kozloduy NPP site at the reactor spent fuel pools and two dedicated spent nuclear fuel storage facilities for wet storage and dry storage. Table 8 shows the spent fuel inventory.
TABLE 8. SPENT FUEL INVENTORY
|Fuel baskets/ CONSTOR casks||Fuel assemblies||Fuel baskets||Fuel assemblies||Fuel baskets/ CONSTOR casks||Fuel assemblies|
|Spent Fuel Pools 5 and 6||-||-||-||392/403||-||795|
|Wet storage facility||52||1436||62||744||114||2180|
|Dry storage facility||17||1428||-||-||17||1428|
From 2009–2020, 2632 spent fuel assemblies from WWER-440 were transported to the Russian Federation for reprocessing.
In 2020, 96 fuel assemblies from WWER-1000 were transported to the Russian Federation for first time since 2008. It is planned to be transported more 192 fuel assemblies from WWER-1000 to Russian Federation in 2021.
In 2018, Bulgaria started the process of updating the Strategy on Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Management until 2030 . It envisions the transport of transport of minimum 42 tonnes of heavy metal per year for storage and reprocessing. This could be implemented in the presence of acceptable economic factors and international security, ensuring a safe transport route to the reprocessing plant.
The Kozloduy NPP is responsible for the management and operation of the Units 5 and 6 as well as the wet and dry storage facilities, including their pertaining auxiliary facilities and technological systems for collecting, processing, and storing radioactive waste.
The radioactive waste management activities are carried out on the basis of established administrative units of special statute, clearly defined functions and tasks and clear allocation of rights, obligations, and responsibilities of the two site operators, the Kozloduy NPP and SE RAW. Within each production structural unit, a radioactive waste tracking system registers data regarding the characterisation of radioactive waste and inventories, overseeing intra-departmental compliance with the necessary regulations, procedures, instructions, programmes, schedules, and orders relating to the implementation of the radioactive waste management activities.
2.7.3. Radioactive waste management
SE RAW was established in 2004 under ASUNE to meet requirements under the state responsibility for the safe management of radioactive waste. SE RAW is entrusted with management of the radioactive waste outside the site of their generation. The radioactive waste is assumed under state ownership from the time of its transfer to SE RAW.
SE RAW performs all the activities related to the whole life cycle of the radioactive waste management facilities, existing and planned. It is the operator of the Kozloduy NPP Units 1–4 under decommissioning. SE RAW is structured in specialized divisions for radioactive waste management, as follows:
Specialized Division “Radioactive Waste (RAW) Kozloduy”;
Specialized Division “Permanent Repository for RAW – Novi Han”;
Specialized Division “National Disposal Facility” for Low- and Intermediate-level radioactive waste under construction;
Specialized Division “Decommissioning of Units 1–4”.
188.8.131.52. Specialized Division RAW Kozloduy
The Specialized Division RAW Kozloduy is located on the site of the Kozloduy NPP and processes the radioactive waste generated from operation of the plant. It consists of:
A radioactive waste processing facility to handle solid and liquid radioactive waste and installation for decontamination of metal radioactive waste;
Storage for conditioned radioactive waste;
Site for interim storage of very low level solid radioactive waste.
The facility is suited for all radioactive waste from nuclear applications.
184.108.40.206. Specialized Division Permanent Repository for RAW – Novi Han
The Permanent Repository for Radioactive Waste (PRRAW) is situated near the village of Novi Han, municipality of Elin Pelin. It was constructed in the late 1950s to early 1960s in accordance with the country’s legislation that was in effect at the time.
The repository was designed for storage of radioactive waste resulting from the application of radioactive sources in medicine—for diagnostics and treatment—as well as in industry, science and education.
Since its commissioning in 1964 until 2006, the PRRAW was managed by the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in accordance with the country’s legislation and with consideration to the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. The purpose of the repository, as well as of all similar facilities in each country, is to ensure safe management of the waste in the long run. Currently, the repository provides safe storage for radioactive waste generated in recent years. They are stored in appropriate multi-barrier facilities—shafts, concrete containers and high-load capacity containers.
Recently, the repository was also modernized through construction of installations for processing and storage of radioactive waste. Such modernization aims for safer RAW management. With the commissioning of the new capabilities, the waste stored on the site of the Permanent Repository will be processed and loaded into packages, which comply with the latest safety requirements. This will allow transportation of the waste collected on the site of Novi Han to the National Repository Facility upon its commissioning.
According to the national strategy for management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, the decommissioning of the permanent repository will start in 2025. Prior to that, some preparatory work should be done. The radioactive waste stored on the surface of the site and in the historical vault for solid RAW should be retrieved, characterized and managed appropriately. Since 2025 the radioactive waste stored in historical trenches and vaults should be retrieved, characterized and managed appropriately.
Disused sealed radioactive sources (DSRS) available in the inventory of Novi Han repository in general are not suitable for disposal in the National Disposal Facility for Low- and Intermediate-level RAW. Looking for an end point of the management of DSRS, SE RAW considers the opportunity for implementing borehole disposal concept (BDC) in Bulgaria. That is why SE RAW prepares preliminary inventory suitable for BD, reviews the geological data for sites and areas suitable for BDS, etc. SE RAW as operator and Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency as regulator participate in the IAEA Coordinated Research Project (CRP) to develop a standartized framework for DSRS borehole disposal.
220.127.116.11. Specialized Division National Disposal Facility for Low and Intermediate RAW
SE RAW performs activities for the construction of the National Storage Facility for Disposal of Radioactive Waste. The facility is being built on the Radiana site, located close to the Kozloduy NPP. The facility is destined for the disposal of low and intermediate level waste generated during the operation and decommissioning of the Kozloduy NPP and for disposal from new nuclear facilities. The facility is a modular surface engineering facility with a total capacity of 19 008 reinforced concrete containers (1.95 m × 1.95 m × 1.95 m). The first stage of the construction will allow for the disposal of 6336 reinforced concrete containers with RAW from the decommissioning of the Kozloduy NPP Units 1–4 in 22 cells. The whole infrastructure of the site and all the auxiliary buildings are being constructed during this first stage.
18.104.22.168. Specialized Division Decommissioning of Units 1–4
By Decrees of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria, from 20 December 2008 for Units 1 and 2 and from 21 November 2012 for Units 3 and 4, the units were declared to be RAW Management Facilities (RAWMF), which are subjects of decommissioning. Compliant to these decisions, the units’ buildings and facilities were transferred for free for housekeeping and management by the State Enterprise Radioactive Waste (SE RAW). On 18 October 2010 and on 26 February 2013, BNRA issued the relevant licences to SE RAW to operate the units through the Specialized Division Decommissioning of Units 1–4.
On 27 November 2014, the State Enterprise “Radioactive Waste” received licenses for decommissioning of Units 1 and 2 of Kozloduy NPP. The term of the licenses is 10 years.
On 28 July 2016, the licenses for decommissioning of Units 3 and 4 of Kozloduy NPP were issued to SE RAW. The term of the licenses is 10 years.
The Ministry of Energy accepted the challenge to shorten the decommissioning period of Units 1-4 by five years and the decommissioning process is scheduled to be completed by 2030. Through its Specialized Division ‘Decommissioning of Units 1–4’, SE RAW performs the work on dismantling Kozloduy NPP Units 1–4 under the conditions stipulated in the decommissioning licences pursuant to ASUNE.
In June 2018 ?n IAEA ARTEMIS mission was carried out, which is an international peer review within the meaning of Article 14 of Council Directive 2011/70/ Euratom establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. The mission reviewed the national framework and programs for SNF and RAW management.
One of the main recommendations of the peer review was the national policy to be promulgated as a statement of the government’s intent and the national policy and strategy for safety to express long term commitment to safety. The suggestion of the review was the government to enhance its statement of intent regarding the safety of SF and RAW management through compilation of all elements of the policy on RAW and SF management in a single statement as a clear basis for establishing a national strategy for the management of SF and RAW.
In line with these recommendations the Ministry of Energy developed a draft of Strategy for Sustainable Energy Development of the Republic of Bulgaria until 2030 with a horizon until 2050.
2.7.4. Release from regulatory control
Clearance of radioactive material resulting from licensed activities which are intended for disposal, reuse or recycling is subject to ASUNE and is based on an order from the NRA chairperson. The process is initiated upon submittal by the licensee or permit holder of documents verifying the compliance with the free release criteria, according to the Radiation Protection Regulation of 2018, adhering to the following:
The expected annual effective dose of any member of the public does not exceed 10 µSv;
The expected annual effective dose of any member of the public for a low probability scenario does not exceed 1 mSv.
2.8. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
2.8.1. Research and development organizations
R&D organizations include:
Sofia University (www.uni-sofia.bg): Faculty of Physics and Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy;
Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy (www.inrne.bas.bg);
Technical University, Sofia: Faculty of Power Engineering and Power Machines (www.tu-sofia.bg/faculties/read/16). The Faculty of Power Engineering and Power Machines is a leading factor in the preparation of engineers in the sphere of thermal engineering, nuclear engineering, energy efficiency, renewable sources of energy, hydraulics, and pneumatics and textile technology. Four departments are involved in the educational process:
Department of Thermal Power Engineering and Nuclear Power Engineering;
Department of Thermal and Refrigeration Engineering;
Department of Hydroaerodynamics and Hydraulic Machines;
Department of Textiles.
2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear power technologies
2.8.3. International cooperation and initiatives
As a Member State of the European Union and the IAEA, Bulgaria supports and participates in various international programmes, including: the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO); ITER (‘International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor’); the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP); the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC); the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG); and the Zangger Committee.
Bulgaria is a member of international conventions and treaties listed in Appendix I.
Bulgaria has bilateral and multilateral international agreements for information exchange with all neighbouring states and general cooperation agreements with other countries that have a substantial nuclear energy programme (see Appendix I).
The NRA is a member of:
European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG);
Forum of the State Nuclear Safety Authorities of the Countries Operating WWER Type Reactors;
Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA);
European Nuclear Security Regulators’ Association (ESRA) as an observer;
Heads of the European Radiological Protection Competent Authorities (HERCA).
Kozloduy NPP is an active member of the global nuclear community, including:
World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO);
European Atomic Forum (FORATOM);
European Nuclear Installations Safety Standards (ENISS);
European Nuclear Society (ENS).
The Bulgarian Nuclear Society is a member of ENS and the Bulgarian Atomic Forum is a member of FORATOM – the association of the European nuclear industry.
Bulgarian scientists take part in research activities organized by international organizations, such as:
Nuclear Energy Agency (within OECD);
Joint Research Centre;
European Organization for Nuclear Research or CERN;
Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Dubna, Russian Federation).
2.9. HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
The system of nuclear staff training and qualification in Bulgaria follows a multistage approach and includes: secondary vocational education; higher education for obtaining the relevant degree in natural sciences and engineering (bachelor and master degrees) and doctoral studies (PhD students); initial and continued specialized training to obtain and maintain a licence to work at a nuclear power plant, including appointments in specific positions (further professional qualifications available at licensed specialized training centres).
In Bulgaria, higher education of graduates in nuclear technology and nuclear science is supported in the fields of physics, chemistry, energetics, nuclear engineering, chemical technologies and economics across five accredited universities for higher education. The total number of students participating in the relevant bachelor’s programmes is 179, and 79 students are involved in master’s programmes. The total number of people employed in the nuclear power sector is around 6500. The majority of which are directly involved in the maintenance and operation of Kozloduy NPP, 20% are employed in companies providing repair and maintenance of equipment, and approximately 10% are employed in science, education and engineering activities. More than 50% of the staff have a master’s degree, and 8% hold scientific degrees. The average age in the nuclear power sector is about 50, and particularly for the Kozloduy NPP, the majority of employees (70%) fall in the range of 41 – 60 years.
2.10. STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT
2.10.1. Public consultations and public hearings
As an European Union Member State, Bulgaria and its management and regulatory institutions take all necessary actions to ensure that the general public is aware of the management of NPPs, spent fuel and radioactive waste. Accessibility of information is part of the main objective to achieve transparency in the management of NPPs and radioactive waste. It reflects the requirements and the framework of national legislation and international obligations of the country. Ensuring publicity for stakeholders enables them to participate in the decision making process and creates the necessary confidence in regulatory institutions. This is achieved by implementing a communication strategy and using different channels of communication.
With respect to public involvement, as a part of the licensing procedure for each nuclear institution within the Council Directive 2009/71/Euratom of 25 June 2009 establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations , a summary of the content submitted by the applicant documents is made public on the NRA web site.
According to ASUNE, the NRA keeps public registers with all licences and permits, as well as any modification, renewal, termination and revocation; certificates or registration and individual licences, as well as any termination and revocation.
2.10.2. Media relations
The Government, Kozloduy NPP and SE RAW follow a proactive approach to media interactions, providing information to the public. The frequency of communication and news conferences depends on the information needs and the occasion.
2.11. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
The emergency preparedness and response in case of nuclear or radiological event is a part of the general national arrangements for protection in case of disaster.
The main legislative and regulatory requirements for the structure and organization of the emergency preparedness are specified in the Disaster Protection Act (DPA), the Act on the Safe Use of Nuclear Energy (ASUNE), the Ministry of Interior Act (MIA), the Regulation on emergency planning and emergency preparedness in case of nuclear and radiological emergencies, and the Regulation on radiation protection. DPA is harmonized with ASUNE regarding the requirements for the development of emergency plans, their contents, the necessary human resources, material and technical support and others.
ASUNE determines additional specific requirements for emergency preparedness to nuclear or radiological emergency. According to the DPA, the Council of Ministers establishes and implements the state policy to protect the population and environment in case of disaster, and for this purpose a Disaster Risk Reduction Council and an Interdepartmental Commission for Recovery and Assistance have been established. The Disaster Risk Reduction Council is a permanently acting consulting body which ensures the coordination and cooperation during implementation of the state policy in case of disaster. Its main functions are related to development of the National Strategy for Reducing the Risk of Disasters, the National Disaster Protection Programme, and the National Disaster Protection Plan, as well as support in development and implementation of acts and secondary regulatory legislation related to reducing the risk of disasters. From 2017–2018, the Council had developed the National Strategy for Reducing the Risk of Disaster in the period of 2018–2030 and guidance for development and preparedness for implementation of plans for protection in case of disaster, which assist the central executive authorities, regional and municipal structures and the parts of the Unified Rescue System in developing Plans for Disaster Protection. Parts of the plans for earthquake, flood, nuclear or radiological accident are obligatory. Disaster protection is planned at the municipal, regional and national level.
The National Plan for Disaster Protection (NPDP) determines the order of activating the plan; analysis of possible disasters and their consequences, including protective actions; request or offer international assistance; duties of the competent authorities responsible for implementation of protective actions; funds and resources provided for liquidation of the consequences and procedures for early warning and notification of the competent authorities and population in case of emergency. As part of the NPDP (Part III), the Kozloduy NPP Off-site Emergency Plan describes the emergency planning zones and determines actions to be taken by the competent authorities to protect people, property and the environment in case of emergency.
Protective actions and other response actions in case of disasters are performed by the Unified Rescue System (URS). The basic structures of the URS are the Directorate General Fire Safety and Civil Protection at the Ministry of Interior (DGFSCP-MI) and its regional structures, the Bulgarian Red Cross and the Emergency Care Centres. According to the Disaster Protection Act, the NRA is a part of the Unified Rescue System. In case of nuclear or radiological emergency, the NRA chairperson participates in the National Headquarters.
The NRA chairperson performs the functions of a central authority and point of contact for notification of an accident and providing assistance, under the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.
For protection of the personnel of the nuclear facility, the operator develops an on-site emergency plan, which defines the protective actions on site in accordance with the off-site emergency plan.
A graded approach is applied during training in emergency preparedness and response. Emergency personnel at the national level are trained at the Training Centre of the Ministry of Interior. Initial and subsequent training for cases of a nuclear or radiological emergency are conducted in it. Training of the Kozloduy NPP personnel is held at the plant’s training centre and in the ERC.
To maintain emergency preparedness and to improve emergency response, the executive authorities, local authorities and other entities conduct periodic emergency drills and exercises controlled by the regulation on emergency planning and preparedness in nuclear and radiological emergencies. For additional information, see Bulgaria’s eighth national report under the Convention on Nuclear Safety, available at http://www.bnra.bg/en/documents-en/conventions-en/reports-en/eight-natioal-report-under-the-cns-republic-of-bulgaria.pdf
3. NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS
3.1. REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
3.1.1. Regulatory authority
The national regulatory authority for the safe use of nuclear energy is the NRA. The legal framework is provided in ASUNE, in force since July 2002.
State regulation of the safe use of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation, the safety of radioactive waste management and the safety of spent fuel management is implemented by the NRA chairperson, who is an independent, specialized authority of the executive power.
The functions of the NRA are effectively separate from those of the bodies and organizations involved in the promotion or use of nuclear technology.
The NRA chairperson has the powers to grant, amend, supplement, renew, suspend and revoke licences and permits; control the fulfilment of safety requirements and standards; undertake enforcement measures and impose administrative penalties; implement the interactions with other competent authorities; implement the international cooperation of Bulgaria in the field; organize and coordinate implementation of the obligations of Bulgaria arising from the international agreements (for more information, see www.bnra.bg).
3.1.2. Licensing process
Based on a written application by the applicant, the NRA chairperson issues authorizations for the use of nuclear energy. ASUNE specifies the conditions, order, terms and time limits for the issuance of licences and permits. The authorization process for a nuclear facility is a multistep process. ASUNE requires authorization for the following:
Permit for siting;
Order for the approval of the selected site;
Design approval order;
Licence for decommissioning.
A Council of Minister’s decision for the construction of a new nuclear facility is a prerequisite to issue the permit ahead of site selection. Along with the other requirements, it is important for the applicant to prove financial, technical and organizational capacity and availability of necessary human resources to carry out the activity before the start of a project.
In terms of the requirements for submission of documents, the applicant is to prepare a conceptual description of the nuclear facility, the terms of reference for preliminary investigations, and a description of the management system for carrying out the activity.
The order for approval of the selected site should be issued after the completion of all necessary evaluations. It is required that several sites be investigated and compared. The results have to be integrated into the documentation submitted to the NRA. The essential submissions include the preliminary safety analysis report, programmes for site monitoring and programmes for additional site investigations.
ASUNE provides for the possibility of combining the licensing procedures. Such an approach arises from the fact that the licensing process is a step by step approach and the procedure should follow a tight time schedule with clear deadlines. The purpose behind this is also to guarantee that the licensing process is flexible and balanced.
The NRA is legally entitled to issue the design permit before finalizing the procedure for issuing the order to approve the selected site. The combination of the procedures can be allowed on the condition that the design basis of the facility is determined and basic characteristics of the site are examined.
The technical design of the facility is approved by an order from the NRA chairperson, taking into account the intermediate safety analysis report. This is the key milestone to receiving a commissioning and operating licence. It is essential to determine whether the characteristics of the selected site are sufficiently taken into account, and whether measures have been taken to ensure consistent application of the defence in depth concept.
The final step of the procedure is the issuance of a decommissioning licence. The decommissioning of the nuclear facility has to be performed after the final termination of its operation and aims at removing the ionizing radiation sources subject to regulatory control from the site. Such a licence should be issued on the basis of initial, intermediate and final decommissioning plan. Licences are valid for a maximum of ten years.
3.2. NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS IN NUCLEAR POWER
According to ASUNE, the NRA chairperson has no power to issue regulations. The NRA chairperson develops and submits draft regulations for the application of the Act to the Council of Ministers for adoption, through the deputy prime minister.
ASUNE specifies the areas subject to regulation. It is required that within two years after the entry into force of ASUNE, the Council of Ministers adopts new regulations.
After entry into force of ASUNE, the NRA initiated a legislative programme for development of a comprehensive set of regulations. Initially, the programme for the development of 19 secondary legal documents covered the areas related to the safe use of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation, safe management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, physical protection, and emergency planning and preparedness, among others. The programme was subsequently enlarged and 24 regulations were adopted by the Council of Ministers on the basis of ASUNE.
The regulatory practice of the NRA was developed over time by taking into account legislative requirements, the NRA’s own experience and good international practices. The NRA continually improves its regulatory practice by conducting self-assessments, inviting well known international experts as management consultants, inviting independent external reviews, as well as cooperation with the IAEA, WENRA and other leading institutions or regulators internationally. During development of the secondary legislation and regulations, the systematic approach was applied in accordance with national laws, the importance of the legislative document and the resources available. Most NRA employees participated actively in the development of the secondary legislation, as well as representatives of ministries and other organizations concerned. An internal procedure as part of the quality management system was developed by the NRA and is applied in the process of regulations drafting and adoption.
At the beginning of 2004, draft regulations on the application of ASUNE were submitted for coordination with the ministries and the national institutions concerned. In the development of the regulations, the NRA used the advice and opinion provided to the chairperson by advisory councils on nuclear safety and radiation protection.
Within the following few years, the Council of Ministers adopted the regulation on the procedure for issuing licences and permits for the safe use of nuclear energy, the regulation on ensuring the safety of nuclear power plants and the rest of the statutory documents prescribed by ASUNE.
In summary, this statutory framework has been in force for more than ten years. ASUNE and a significant part of the regulations have been subject to amendment as a result of the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union, the IAEA peer review process and the experience gained from the application of the essential statutory requirements.
The list of statutory instruments currently applicable in the field of safe utilization of nuclear energy and in respect of nuclear material procurement, accountability, storage and transport is available on the NRA web site, www.bnra.bg/en/documents-en/legislation
APPENDIX 1: INTERNATIONAL, MULTILATERAL AND BILATERAL AGREEMENTS
Bilateral agreements include the following:
|Title||Signed||Entry into force|
|1||Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Government of the United States of America for cooperation in the field of peaceful uses on nuclear energy||21.06.1994||28.03.1996 |
|2||Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Government of the Russian Federation in the domain of peaceful use of atomic energy||26.09.1995||30.11.1995|
|3||Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Government of the Russian Federation in the domain of atomic energy sector||19.05.1995||30.11.1995|
|4||Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Ukraine on transport of nuclear material between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Bulgaria through the territory of Ukraine||27.04.2006||08.08.2006|
|5||Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Government of the Republic of Moldova, the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Ukraine on cooperation in transportation of nuclear material between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Bulgaria through the territory of Ukraine and Moldova||28.11.1997||28.11.1997|
|6||Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Government of Ukraine on Early Notification in Case of Nuclear Accident and Cooperation in Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Area||31.03.2003||11.09.2003|
|7||Arrangement between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Government of the Republic of Romania on Early notification in case of nuclear accident and exchange of information for nuclear facilities||28.05.1997||01.01.1998|
|8||Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Government of the Republic of Greece on early notification in case of nuclear accident and exchange of information for nuclear facilities||23.04.1989||20.12.1991|
|9||Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Government of the Republic of Turkey on Early notification in case of nuclear accident and exchange of information for nuclear facilities,||28.07.1997||21.05.1998|
|10||Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the Early Exchange of Information in the Event of Radiological Emergency||22.01.2019||22.01.2019|
|11||Agreement between the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the exchange of technical information and cooperation in nuclear safety matters||09.05.2018||09.05.2018|
|12||Agreement between the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service (The Russian Federation) and the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (The Republic of Bulgaria) for the cooperation in the field of nuclear and radiation safety regulation in the peaceful use of atomic energy||31.03.2014||31.03.2014|
|13||Agreement between the Committee on the Use of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Commission on Atomic Energy of the Republic of Greece on Early Notification of Nuclear Accident and Exchange of Information for Nuclear Facilities,||15.02.1991||15.02.1991|
|14||Agreement amending the Agreement between the Committee on the Use of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Commission on Atomic Energy of the Republic of Greece on Early Notification of Nuclear Accident and Exchange of Information for Nuclear Facilities,||28.09.2016||28.09.2016|
|15||Agreement between the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA) from the Republic of Bulgaria and the National Commission for Nuclear Activities (CNCAN) from Romania for the exchange of technical information and cooperation in the regulation and control of nuclear safety and radiation protection||20.01.2016||01.06.2016|
|16||Agreement between the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (Republic of Bulgaria) and the Radiation Safety Directorate (Republic of Macedonia) for Cooperation in Radiation Protection Matters||17.11.2010||17.11.2010|
|17||Agreement between the Committee on the Use of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes and the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic on cooperation in regulatory safety matters||29.09.1999||29.09.1999|
|18||Agreement between the Committee on the Use of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Ministry of Protection of the Environment and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine in the domain of the state regulation and control on safety in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes||30.01.2003||20.03.2003|
APPENDIX 2:MAIN ORGANIZATIONS, INSTITUTIONS AND COMPANIES
State authorities and organizations
|Nuclear Regulatory Agency|
69 Shipchenski prokhod Blvd.,
1574 Sofia, Bulgaria
|tel.: (+359 2) 9406 800|
fax: (+359 2) 9406 919
|Ministry of Energy|
8, Triaditsa Str.,
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
|tel.: +359 2 9263 152|
fax: +359 2 980 76 30
|Energy and Water Regulatory Commission|
8-10, Al. Dondukov blvd.
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
|tel.: +359 2 9359 628 |
fax: +359 2 988 8782
|Ministry of Health|
5, Sv. Nedelia squr.
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
|tel.: +359 2981 01 11|
fax: +359 2 981 18 33
|National Center of Radiobiology and Radiation Protection|
3 St. Georgi Sofijski str.
1606, Sofia, Bulgaria
|tel.: +359 2 862 11 23|
fax: +359 2 8621059
|Ministry of Environment and Water|
22 Maria Louiza Blvd.
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
|tel.: +359 2 940 61 94|
fax: +359 2 986 25 33
|State Enterprise Radioactive Waste|
52A G. M. Dimitrov Blvd., fl. 6
1797, Sofia, Bulgaria
|tel.: +359 2 9035 100|
fax: +359 2 962 50 78
|National Statistical Institute |
2, P. Volov Str.
1038 Sofia, Bulgaria
|tel.: +359 2 9857 111|
fax: +359 2 9857 764
|Kozloduy NPP plc.|
3321 Kozloduy, Bulgaria
|tel.: +359 973/ 7-20-20, |
fax: +359 973/ 8-05-91
|NPP Kozloduy New Builds Plc|
1? Panayot Hitov Str
3321 Kozloduy, Bulgaria
|tel.: + 359 973 7 21 04|
fax: + 359 973 7 24 22
|Bulgarian Academy of Sciences||www.bas.bg|
|Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences||www.inrne.bas.bg|
|Technical University - Sofia||www.tu-sofia.bg|
|Enpro Consult Ltd.||www.enproco.com/en|
|Quantum Engineering Ltd.||www.qvant-bg.com|
|Risk Engineering Ltd.||www.riskeng.bg|
|Theta Consult Ltd.||www.thetaconsult.com|
|Worleyparsons Nuclear Services JSC||www.worleyparsons.com|
|Bulgarian Atomic Forum||www.bulatom-bg.org|
|Bulgarian Nuclear Society||www.bgns.bg|
|Scientific and Technical Union of the Power Engineers in Bulgaria||www.ntse-bg.org|
 Energy Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria till 2020,
 Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC, Official Journal of the European Union L 211, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg (2009).
 Strategy on Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Management until 2030 (in Bulgarian),www.me.government.bg/bg/themes/aktualizirana-strategiya-za-upravlenie-na-otraboteno-yadreno-gorivo-i-radioaktivni-otpadaci-do-2030-g-1657-0.html
 Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom of 19 July 2011 establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, Official Journal of the European Union L 199, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg (2009).
 EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: European Energy Security Strategy, COM (2014) 330 final (2014).
 Council Directive 2009/71/Euratom of 25 June 2009 establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations, Official Journal of the European Union L 172, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg (2009).