The development of Bulgaria’s nuclear energy is necessary and there is no alternative

Bogomil Manchev

Bogomil Manchev, chairman of the Bulgarian Atomic Forum (BULATOM), for the annual almanac of the Bulgarian energy sector Energy Info BG

Regardless of all the difficulties caused by the number of both external and internal crises, and regardless of the practical freezing of projects in nuclear energy, the Association not only increased its membership but also implemented a number of, in our opinion, timely initiatives, which definitely influenced the gradual a change in attitude towards the future of our nuclear energy.

First of all, the “Position of Bulatom regarding the need to ensure conditions for the sustainable development of the Bulgarian nuclear energy industry” was developed, which, together with the supporting analyses, was presented to all state institutions and widely popularized in society.

In the second place, Bulatom held a cycle of 4 virtual seminars on topics related to nuclear energy, in which representatives of ME, BEH, Kozloduy NPP, NRA, Nucleareurope, and international experts of the highest level participated. These seminars, as well as the mentioned Position, created a basis for a sober consideration of the opportunities that nuclear energy gives to Bulgaria to ensure the necessary independence, security, and availability of electricity in a predictable and manageable way.

Bulatom representatives actively participated in the discussions on the Strategic Vision for the Development of the Electricity Sector of the Republic of Bulgaria, 2023 – 2053, expressing the arguments of the Bulgarian nuclear industry for the need to immediately take real steps in the effective launch of the first project for new nuclear power in our country so that it will be operational before 2035 in accordance with the commitment that our country made back in 2020 within the framework of the INPEC approved by the EC.

It is necessary to store the country’s position as a net exporter of electricity

Market trends in the electricity sector prove the growing scarcity of this market and the need to build base capacities. It can also be pointed out that these market trends also prove that the security of supply to the domestic market at acceptable prices requires preserving the country’s position as a net exporter of electricity.

Business trends during the year outlined the direction in which the policy of most European countries is developing precisely in response to the above-mentioned market trends and given their long-term and inevitable nature. Namely, the undertaking of a clear policy, decisions, and actions for an immediate reorientation toward the construction of new nuclear capacities.

For example, countries such as France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania can be mentioned. Unfortunately, this also means that when we eventually inevitably join this group, due to the commitment of a handful of technology providers, we may once again find ourselves hopelessly behind on the realization of these plans.

Regarding the technological trends, it should undoubtedly be noted the achievement of technological readiness for the entry of the first licensed projects of small modular reactors (SRM). In the USA and Canada, as well as in a number of European countries – the United Kingdom, France, the Czech Republic, and Poland, serious preparation for such projects is underway, and the construction of the first such reactor is also expected in Romania, where the site for the location of the first reactor has already been determined MMR.

New nuclear power is key to achieving the country’s long-term development goals

The association will continue with all possible means to defend its thesis that the development of nuclear energy in Bulgaria is necessary and without alternatives.

In this regard, the Association will even more actively continue to justify that without large emission-free base capacities, which provide predictable prices for the produced electrical energy for a long period of time, the development of the Bulgarian energy industry is impossible, as well as the implementation of EC requirements for the Green Deal.

We expect the debate on the construction of new nuclear power in Bulgaria to continue, as well as to take real steps to start the first project for a new nuclear power, which this time should be “doomed to success” because this success has a key importance in achieving of the country’s long-term development goals.

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