Continuing to move forward with its ambitions in Central and Eastern Europe, Westinghouse Electric Company last week signed a memorandum of understanding with Kozloduy NPP–Newbuilds (KNPP-NB), establishing a working group to initiate planning for the potential deployment of one or more of the American company’s AP1000 reactors at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power plant.
KNPP-NB was established in 2012 to commission new nuclear power capacity at Kozloduy.
The working group, according to a March 2 Westinghouse announcement, will also evaluate regulatory, licensing, and design bases to ensure compliance with applicable regulations, as well as a streamlined execution path to enable Bulgaria to achieve its nuclear energy goals.
Bullish on Bulgaria: “Westinghouse appreciates the partnership and is eager to support Bulgaria’s clean energy future,” said David Durham, the company’s energy systems president. “This cooperative agreement sets us on a path toward providing both economic and environmental benefits for the Bulgarian people while bolstering the country’s energy security.”
Background: Bulgaria’s only nuclear power facility, Kozloduy is situated close to the Danube River border with Romania. The plant houses two operating VVER-1000/V320 reactors—the 963-MWe Unit 5 and 1,003-MWe Unit 6. Four retired units are also housed there, all VVER-440s. Units 1 and 2 were shuttered in early 2004, and Units 3 and 4 at the end of 2006.
In case you missed it: With partner Bechtel, Westinghouse helped organize a supplier symposium in the Czech Republic late last month. (The two U.S.-based companies submitted an initial bid in November 2022 for securing a contract to build a fifth reactor at the Central European nation’s Dukovany plant.) The event—Supplier Day 2023—drew representatives from 55 Czech companies, as well as U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic Bijan Sabet.
“Westinghouse and Bechtel have assured me they are committed to the Czech Republic,” Sabet said, addressing attendees. “They have been working together for over 70 years to facilitate the successful delivery of nuclear power assets in the fight to provide a clean and resilient energy infrastructure. They recognize your expertise and experience and know that strong relationships with you and your companies are not just useful, but essential for success.”
Also speaking at the event was Petr Brzezina, Westinghouse president for the Czech Republic. “Czech industry has a vital role to play in the deployment of nuclear technology here,” Brzezina said. “I would like to thank the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, Czech Power Industry Association, and TUV Nord for their partnership on this symposium, emphasizing the importance of this project for the future of Czech suppliers.”