BULGARIA

(Updated 2022)

PREAMBLE AND SUMMARY

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 2021, nuclear power comprised about 34.6% 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

1.1.2.1. 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 2021 was 27.1 million tonnes, representing 91.4% 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 2021, in Bulgaria there was no extraction of black coal.

1.1.2.2. Natural gas

The companies extracting natural gas in the country are Petroceltic, and Oil and Gas Exploration and Production. In 2021, these two companies extracted 31 million m3 of natural gas, which is with 44% less than in 2020.

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 2021 was 3 271 million m3, which is with 37% more than the total import in 2020. In 2021, domestic natural gas consumption was 3 298 million m3, or 37% more than in 2020.

The largest gas distribution companies operating in the country are Overgas Network, Sitigas Bulgaria and Aresgas.

In 2021, natural gas distribution in Bulgaria was 582 million m3, which is with 9% more than in 2020.

1.1.2.3. 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

(https://www.nsi.bg/en/content/4163/production-and-deliveries-oil-and-petroleum-products).

1.1.2.4. Energy reserves

The total amount of existing and probable reserves or resources of coal at the end of 2020 is estimated at 1994 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 2020 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 2020.

Further information is available from the National Statistical Institute (www.nsi.bg/en) and Table 1.

TABLE 1. ESTIMATED AVAILABLE ENERGY SOURCES

Fossil fuels Nuclear Renewables
Solid Liquid Gas Uranium Hydro Other renewable
Total amount 1994 c.d.* 7331 ** ** **

Note: Latest available data for 2020 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 Consumption Statistics

TABLE 2. ENERGY STATISTICS

Final Energy consumption [PJ] 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 Compound
annual growth
rate 2000 2020 (%)
Total 402 436 375 410 411 0.11
Coal, Lignate and Peat 41 43 19 16 14 -5.20
Oil 150 168 132 146 155 0.16
Natural gas 65 61 46 60 54 -0.90
Bioenergy and Waste 23 31 38 49 60 4.87
Electricity 87 92 97 102 103 0.84
Heat 37 41 42 37 26 -1.77

Source: United Nations Statistical Division, OECD/IEA and IAEA RDS-1

* 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 Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) shall regulate energy-sector. The EWRC shall be an independent specialized state body. In exercising its powers, the Commission shall be independent of the executive authorities and its activity shall be performed on the basis of independence, impartiality, professionalism, honesty, consistency, publicity and transparency. The Commission shall be accountable for its activities before the National Assembly. The EWRC shall by proposal of energy companies or at its own initiative, adopt or amend rules for trading in electricity and rules for trading in natural gas, as well as technical rules for the respective networks and systems, including rules for security and reliability, and shall control their compliance and perform reviews and exercise control over the results of past periods. Transactions in electricity shall be in compliance with the provisions of Energy Act and the electricity trading rules.

?lektroenergien sistemen operator (EAD) carries out unified operational planning, coordination and management of Bulgaria's electricity system, joint operation of the power system with other countries' power systems, ensuring the operation, maintenance and reliable operation of the grid, maintenance of auxiliary networks, as well as repair and service activities in the field of energy. The company transits electricity on the national network and organizes the electricity market.

Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange EAD, (IBEX EAD) is a holder of a license for organizing a power exchange market for electricity in compliance with the Energy Act. The power exchange market for electricity organized by IBEX EAD operates in compliance with the following main principles:

  1. electricity trading via an open, transparent, non-discriminatory and anonymous mechanism;

  2. formation of referent prices for all traded standardized products;

  3. conclusion of transactions in an easy, fast and secure manner.

The organization of operations, the rights, and the obligations of all trading participants and of IBEX EAD are defined in the Power Exchange Operational Rules. According to these rules, there are three market segments:

  1. Intraday market segment Trading on the intraday market segment is conducted through an intraday electronic trading system;

  2. Day-ahead market segment Trading on the intraday market segment is conducted through a day-ahead electronic trading system;

  3. Bilateral contracts market segment Trading participants with an active status for bilateral contracts market segment and that have concluded a standard contract for sale and purchase of electricity, in compliance with the provisions of these rules, may conclude transactions for purchase and sale of electricity as a result of:

    1. initiation and/or participation in an auction on auctions screen;

    2. submission of an offer/s on continuous trading screen.

The Power Exchange Operational Rules regulate the organization of the activities, rights and obligations of the power exchange operator and all trading participants on the organized power exchange market for electricity (https://www.ibex.bg/bin/documents/1479_file.pdf).

Household customers connected to the low voltage network have not only the right but also the opportunity to actually change their electricity supplier and enter into transactions at freely negotiated prices. With the amendments to the Energy Act adopted in 2020, the obligation of final electricity suppliers to supply non-household consumers with facilities connected to the low-voltage electricity distribution network has been abolished. According to the Energy Act, final suppliers can now be suppliers of electricity at regulated prices only for household 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 household end 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 the impact 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 holds a 10-year license issued by the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) 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. 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 2021 was 47.6 TWh, 16.7% more than the electricity generated in 2020. There was an increase in the generation of energy by thermal power plants (+36.7%), renewable energy sources (+28.9%), factory power plants (+8.7%) and heat production or supply power plants (+5.7%). There was a decrease in gross electricity generation by the NPP units (-0.8%) and pumped storage hydropower plants (-0.5%) in 2021 compared to 2020.

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 2021 was 93.8%, while the share of imported resources was 6.2%, where nuclear energy is reported as a local energy resource.

Gross domestic electricity consumption in 2021 was 38.8 TWh, 3.9% more that in 2020.

Electricity generation from renewable energy sources accounted for 19.4% of gross domestic energy consumption in 2021.

Final consumption of electricity in 2021 amounted to 31.7 TWh, or 4.5% more than in 2020, 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 2020 Compound
annual growth
rate 2000 2020 (%)
Total 40 924 44 365 46 639 49 205 40 731 -0.02
Coal, Lignate and Peat 17 207 18 625 22 606 22 522 13 533 -1.19
Oil 661 606 393 182 299 -3.89
Natural gas 1 912 1 729 1 967 1 864 2 292 0.91
Bioenergy and Waste 15 17 35 272 1 703 26.69
Hydro 2 951 4 730 5 693 6 147 3 320 0.59
Nuclear 18 178 18 653 15 249 15 383 16 626 -0.45
Wind 0 5 681 1 452 1 477 0.00
Solar 0 0 15 1 383 1 481 0.00

Source: United Nations Statistical Division, OECD/IEA and IAEA RDS-1.

* Latest available data.

** Electricity distribution losses are not deducted.

TABLE 4. ENERGY RELATED RATIOS

Final Energy consumption [PJ] 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2021*
Nulcear/total electricity(%) 45 44.1 33.1 31.3 40.8 34.6

Source: RDS-1 and RDS-2.

* Latest available data.

2. NUCLEAR POWER SITUATION

2.1. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND CURRENT ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

2.1.1. Overview

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 former 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

ERROR_IMG_NUMBER_3IG. 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 (Fig. 2):

  • 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

Reactor Unit Type Net
Capacity
[MW(e)]
Status Operator Reactor
Supplier
Construction
Date
First
Criticality
Date
First Grid
Date
Commercial
Date
Shutdown
Date
UCF
for
2021
KOZLODUY-5 PWR 1003 Operational KNPP AEE 7/9/1980 11/5/1987 11/29/1987 12/23/1988 88.4
KOZLODUY-6 PWR 1003 Operational K N N P AEE 4/1/1982 5/29/1991 8/2/1991 12/30/1993 89.5
KOZLODUY-1 PWR 408 Permanent Shutdown K N N P AEE 4/1/1970 6/30/1974 7/24/1974 10/28/1974 12/31/2002
KOZLODUY-2 PWR 408 Permanent Shutdown KOZNPP AEE 4/1/1970 8/22/1975 8/24/1975 11/10/1975 12/31/2002
KOZLODUY-3 PWR 408 Permanent Shutdown K N N P AEE 10/1/1973 12/4/1980 12/17/1980 1/20/1981 12/31/2006
KOZLODUY-4 PWR 408 Permanent Shutdown K N N P AEE 10/1/1973 4/25/1982 5/17/1982 6/20/1982 12/31/2006
BELENE-1 PWR 953 Cancelled Constr. K N N P JSC ASE 1/1/1987 3/28/2012
BELENE-2 PWR 953 Cancelled Constr. K N N P 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.

*Latest available data.

Source: RDS-2

: data not available.

FIG. 3. Kozloduy NPP geographic location.

As of 2007, only the two 1000 MW units of Kozloduy NPP are in operation (Fig. 3). In recent years, the Kozloduy NPP share in the Bulgarian electricity generation mix has ranged from 31% to 40.8%. In 2021 the share of Kozloduy NPP reached 34.6 % (Fig. 4).

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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 5 and 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 (Table 6). 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 name Shutdown date Shutdown reason Decom. strategy Current decom. phase Current fuel management phase Decom. licensee Licence terminated
KOZLODUY-1 Dec-2022 EC agreement followed by Government decision A combination of immediate & deferred dismantling Dismantling, Licence terminated AFR-RS (Dry Storage), AFR-OS (Dry Storage), AFR-RS (Wet Storage), AFR-OS (Wet Storage) E-03492 2031
KOZLODUY-2 Dec-2022 EC agreement followed by Government decision A combination of immediate & deferred dismantling Dismantling, Licence terminated AFR-RS (Dry Storage), AFR-OS (Dry Storage), AFR-RS (Wet Storage), AFR-OS (Wet Storage) E-03493 2031
KOZLODUY-3 Dec-2022 EC agreement followed by Government decision A combination of immediate & deferred dismantling Dismantling, Licence terminated AFR-RS (Dry Storage), AFR-OS (Dry Storage), AFR-RS (Wet Storage), AFR-OS (Wet Storage) E-00174 2031
KOZLODUY-4 Dec-2022 EC agreement followed by Government decision A combination of immediate & deferred dismantling Dismantling, Licence terminated AFR-RS (Dry Storage), AFR-OS (Dry Storage), AFR-RS (Wet Storage), AFR-OS (Wet Storage) E-0008 2031

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:

  1. nuclear safety and radiation protection, environmental impact and physical protection;

  2. the socio-economic significance of the construction of a nuclear power plant for the entire country or for particular functional regions;

  3. 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.

2.3.1.1. Belene NPP Project

Pursuant to the decisions taken by National Assembly on 7 June 2018 and Council of Ministers on 29 June 2018, a call for selecting a strategic investor to construct Belene NPP has been launched. Given the Covid-19 global pandemic, the procedure has been put on hold.

2.3.1.2. Kozloduy NPP New Build

The Kozloduy NPP-New Build was established in May 2012. In August 2013, the NRA Chairman issued a permit for determining the location (site selection) for deployment of new nuclear power plant at the Kozloduy NPP site.

In 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.

According to the Decision of the Council of Ministers from January 2021, the Minister of Energy is assigned to take the necessary actions for full use of the capacity of the approved, by Order of the Chairman of the NRA, Site No. 2 at Kozloduy NPP for construction of a new nuclear power plant including the rational use of equipment supplied for the Belene NPP.

An environmental monitoring network and database have been developed in accordance with the requirements of the EIA.

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

2.4. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF NPPs

Not applicable.

2.5. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN THE OPERATION OF NPPs

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 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 [3] 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 [4]. The Strategy is periodically updated to provide an up-to-date link between the present plans and the future actions. A new draft of the Strategy was developed in 2021, the adoption of which by the Council of Ministers is pending.

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:

  1. 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. An expanding of the existing interim on-site spent fuel buffer storage facilities is envisaged to guarantee Kozloduy NPP operations.

  2. 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 [3] 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

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 [5], 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

WWER-440 WWER-1000 Total
Fuel baskets/ CONSTOR casks Fuel assemblies Fuel baskets Fuel assemblies Fuel baskets/ CONSTOR casks Fuel assemblies
Spent Fuel Pools 5 and 6 - - - 392/385 - 777
Wet storage facility 45 1268 55 660 100 1928
Dry storage facility 19 1596 - - 19 1596

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. Furthermore 192 fuel assemblies from WWER-1000 were transported to Russian Federation in 2021.

The Strategy on Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Management until 2030 [3] envisions the 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.

2.7.3. Radioactive waste management

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 radioactive waste collecting, processing, and storing.

The radioactive waste management covers the entire technological cycle from the generation, through preliminary treatment, processing, transportation, to temporary storage and subsequent disposal.

Responsible for the RAW management are specialized administrative units established in Kozloduy NPP and SE RAW. The functions and responsibilities of each unit are clearly defined in documents and programmes adopted by the two organizations. One of the most important tasks of the RAW management is the tracking of the generated, stored and processed quantities of radioactive waste, including detailed description of their characteristics. This is provided by developing of reliable information system for data storage and data exchange.

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:

  1. Specialized Division Radioactive Waste (RAW) Kozloduy;

  2. Specialized Division Permanent Repository for RAW Novi Han;

  3. Specialized Division National Disposal Facility for Low- and Intermediate-level radioactive waste under construction;

  4. Specialized Division Decommissioning of Units 1 4.

2.7.3.1. 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 and radioactive waste generated by decommissioning activities from Specialized Division Decommissioning of Units 1 4. It consists of:

  1. A radioactive waste processing facility to handle solid and liquid radioactive waste and installation for decontamination of metal radioactive waste;

  2. Storage for conditioned radioactive waste;

  3. Site for interim storage of very low level solid radioactive waste.

The facility is suited for all radioactive waste from nuclear applications.

2.7.3.2. 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 standardized framework for DSRS borehole disposal.

2.7.3.3. 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 נ1.95 m נ1.95 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.

2.7.3.4. 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 Sv;

  • 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. R&D organizations

R&D organizations include:

  • Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy (www.inrne.bas.bg);

  • Technical University, Sofia (www.tu-sofia.bg)

    • Faculty of Power Engineering and Power Machines

2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear power technologies

Not applicable.

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 BNRA 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);

  • IAEA;

  • European Atomic Forum (FORATOM);

  • European Nuclear Installations Safety Standards (ENISS);

  • European Nuclear Society (ENS).

The Bulgarian Nuclear Society is a member of the 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 relevant degrees in natural sciences and engineering (bachelor, master and doctorate degrees); initial and continued specialized training to obtain and maintain licences to work at a nuclear power plant, including appointments in specific positions (further professional qualifications available at licensed specialized training centres).

In the secondary school VET system there is specialty training called nuclear energetics for Technicians/ Installers of Energy Facilities and Installations (from the List of Professions for VET). Within the ongoing school year (2021/2022) the number of students which study the specialty nuclear energetics in the VET school for nuclear energetics Igor Kurchatov in Kozloduy is shown below.

Vocational High School of Nuclear Energy Igor Kurchatov , Kozloduy (District: Vratsa; Municipality: Kozloduy)

Academic year Name of professional
direction
Name of profession Name of specialty Class/
Form of education
Number
of students
2021/2022 Electrical engineering and energy Technician of energy facilities and installations Nuclear energetics III degree of professional qualification VIII/Daily form
of education
21
2021/2022 Electrical engineering and energy Technician of energy facilities and installations Nuclear energetics III degree of professional qualification IX/Dual system
of training
26
2021/2022 Electrical engineering and energy Technician of energy facilities and installations Nuclear energetics III degree of professional qualification X/Daily form
of education
16
2021/2022 Electrical engineering and energy Technician of energy facilities and installations Nuclear energetics III degree of professional qualification XI/Daily form
of education
13

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 in the relevant bachelor s or master s programmes for the academic year 2021/2022 is 172 and 78 respectively, distributed as follows:

University Name of specialty Bachelor s degree program Master degree program Total
1st year 2nd year 3rd year 4th year
Sofia University Engineering Physic 20 6 7 8 41
Nuclear Technology and Nuclear Power Engineering, 6 4 4 1 6 21
Nuclear and Particle Physics 7 3 3 0 3 16
Nuclear Chemistry 1 1 2 3 0 7
Plovdiv University Engineering Physic 18 12 12 13 0 55
Technical University - Sofia Thermal and Nuclear Power Engineering
12 11 9 6 57 95
Engineering Physic 0 0 0 3 0 3
University of National and World Economy Nuclear security - - - - 7 7
University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy Chemical technologies in nuclear energy - - - - 2 2
South-West University Nuclear and Particle Physics - - - - 1 1

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 enable 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 [6], 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 occasion2.11 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 is a member of/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 Professional 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(s)

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 permit;

  • Design approval order;

  • Construction permit;

  • Commissioning permit;

  • Operating licence;

  • 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

REFERENCES

[1] Energy Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria till 2020, www.mi.government.bg/files/useruploads/files/epsp/23_energy_strategy2020%D0%95ng_.pdf

[2] 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).

[3] 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

[4] 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).

[5] EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: European Energy Security Strategy, COM (2014) 330 final (2014).

[6] 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).

APPENDIX 1: INTERNATIONAL, MULTILATERAL AND BILATERAL AGREEMENTS

Agreements with the IAEA

Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency
Entry into force
Non-Proliferation Treaty related agreement INFCIRC/178
Entry into force
Additional protocol
Entry into force
Improved procedures for designation of safeguards inspectors
Entry into force
Supplementary agreement on provision of technical assistance by the IAEA
Entry into force
Agreement on privileges and immunities
Entry into force
Other relevant international treaties

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Entry into force
Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
Entry into force
Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident
Entry into force
Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency
Entry into force
Joint Protocol
Entry into force
Protocol to Amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage
Not signed
Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage
Not signed
Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management
Entry into force
Convention on Nuclear Safety
Entry into force
Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution
Entry into force
Zangger Committee
Member
Nuclear Export Guidelines
Adopted
Acceptance of NUSS Codes
No reply
Nuclear Suppliers Group
Member
International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (formerly Global Nuclear Energy Partnership)
Member

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
www.bnra.bg
Ministry of Energy
8, Triaditsa Str.,
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
tel.: +359 2 9263 152
fax: +359 2 980 76 30
www.me.government.bg
Energy and Water Regulatory Commission
8-10, Al. Dondukov blvd.
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
tel.: +359 2 9359 628
fax: +359 2 988 8782
www.dker.bg
Ministry of Health
5, Sv. Nedelia squr.
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
tel.: +359 2981 01 11
fax: +359 2 981 18 33
www.mh.government.bg
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
www.ncrrp.org
Ministry of Environment and Water
22 Maria Louiza Blvd.
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
tel.: +359 2 940 61 94
fax: +359 2 986 25 33
www.moew.government.bg
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
http://dprao.bg
Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD
16 Veslets Str.
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
tel.: +359 2 926 38 00
fax: +359 2 925 04 01
https://bgenh.com/en
National Statistical Institute
2, P. Volov Str.
1038 Sofia, Bulgaria
tel.: +359 2 9857 111
fax: +359 2 9857 764
www.nsi.bg
Kozloduy NPP plc.
3321 Kozloduy, Bulgaria

tel.: +359 973/ 7-20-20,
fax: +359 973/ 8-05-91
www.kznpp.org
Kozloduy NPP-New Builds Plc
3321 Kozloduy, Bulgaria

tel.: + 359 973 7 21 04
fax: + 359 973 7 24 22
www.npp-nb.bg
Research institutes and organizations
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
www.bas.bg
Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
www.inrne.bas.bg
Sofia University
www.uni-sofia.bg
Technical University - Sofia
www.tu-sofia.bg
Plovdiv University
https://uni-plovdiv.bg
Technical support and expert organizations
Atomenergoproekt Ltd.
www.atomepr.com/main.php
Atomtoploproekt Ltd.
www.atomtoploproekt.com
Enpro Consult Ltd.
www.enproco.com/en
EQE Bulgaria
www.eqe.bg
Energy Institute
www.eninbg.com/mainbg.html
GCR
www.gcr.bg
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

INVOLVED IN NUCLEAR POWER RELATED ACTIVITIES


Other organizations and associations
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
Women in Nuclear Bulgaria (WiN-Bulgaria)
https://www.win-bulgaria.org/bg

Coordinator information

Report coordinator:
Albena Georgieva

Nuclear Regulatory Agency


Contact:
69 Shipchenski prokhod, blvd.

1574 Sofia

Bulgaria



A.Georgieva@bnra.bg

tel.: +359 2 9406 943

fax: +359 2 9406 919