BulAtom participated in a U.S.-Bulgarian working meeting under the FIRST program

In the period May 7-8, 2024, a U.S.-Bulgarian workshop “Foundational infrastructure for the responsible use of small modular reactor technology” (program FIRST) was held in Sofia, in which leading scientists and experts in the field of nuclear energy took part.

At the Forum opening, Deputy Minister Samandov presented the importance and main guidelines of the development of the Bulgarian nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is an essential factor in shaping the national energy mix and plays an important role in decarbonizing the sector in the context of the EU Green Deal, the RepowerEU Plan and the policy of producing reliable energy at affordable and predictable prices for consumers. Among the top priorities of the Bulgarian nuclear program, he outlined the upcoming construction of units 7 and 8 of Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant with AP- 1000 technology, the maximum lifetime extension of the NPP’s units 5 and 6, the ongoing construction of a national radioactive waste repository, which will soon be completed, etc. Samandov recalled that a 10-year contract was concluded in December 2022 with Westinghouse for the supply of fresh nuclear fuel to Unit 5 of the Nuclear Power Plant and the first delivery already took place in April of this year. In March 2022, Kozloduy NPP concluded another agreement with Framatome for the delivery of fresh nuclear fuel to Unit 6. This is clear from the published announcement on the website of the Ministry of Energy.

According to the publication, various technological options for the future development of nuclear energy and the place of small modular reactors as complementary technology to existing nuclear facilities were discussed within the forum. The possibilities for applying these capacities in our country were also analyzed in order to ensure higher flexibility and security of the energy system. At the seminar, it became clear that Bulgarian companies are already showing interest in such facilities and in partnership with renowned foreign producers.

On behalf of BulAtom, Petar Manchev, a member of the Management board, and Stanislav Georgiev, the executive secretary, took part in the American-Bulgarian working meeting. The perspectives and challenges facing the development of the human resources necessary for nuclear energy, with an emphasis on the guidelines laid down in the National Strategy for the Development of Human Resources in the Nuclear Sector 2022-2032, were the main topic of the presentation given at the forum by Petar Manchev