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Kozloduy : | Operating History | Technical Activities | Accomplishments |

Kozloduy Operating History

Kozloduy, which is now run by the National Electric Company, had a troubled operating history in the early 1990s.

Radioactive Contamination . An International Atomic Energy Agency mission in 1990 noted that several serious incidents had occurred, one of which resulted in the radioactive contamination of groundwater on the site.

The mission also found that 217 workers had received excessive exposure to radiation over the plant's operating life. More recently, at least five "hot spots"--areas of radioactive contamination--have been found in the plant.

Poor Physical Condition . A June 1991 IAEA mission found Kozloduy's four VVER-440 units in such poor physical condition, and safety deficiencies so serious, that it recommended they be shut down until improvements were made.

Following the mission, the Bulgarian Committee on the Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy announced that Unit 4 had been shut down for safety-related improvements and that Unit 3--which was being refueled--would remain shutdown until improvements were made. Unit 4 resumed operation in August 1991 and Unit 3 in November. Unit 1 was shutdown in September for backfitting, followed by Unit 2 in November

Staffing Problems . Unit 5 was plagued by staff shortages which--together with a maintenance and refueling outage--kept it out of service for much of 1991. Full staff levels have now been reached, allowing operation of Unit 5 and the recently commissioned Unit 6.

Management Changes . In 1991, the Bulgarian government twice changed Kozloduy's management in an attempt to improve the work and safety culture at the plant.

July 1991, the European Communities announced that it had earmarked 11.5 million ECU ($14.6 million) through its PHARE program for emergency aid to improve safety at Kozloduy.

EBRD's Nuclear Safety Account . In January 1993, members of the G-24's Working Group on Nuclear Safety met at Kozloduy to decide on the next steps in the plant' s assistance program. Also in January, Bulgarian officials reported that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) had agreed to supply 24 million ECU ($30.5 million) to upgrade the Kozloduy plant. The grant was conditional on the earliest possible shutdown of Units 1-4.

The Bulgarian government said it intended to shut down Units 1 and 2 as soon as upgrading work on either Unit 5 or 6 was completed and a pumped storage plant was built, probably by 1997. It added that Units 3 and 4 would operate until both Units 5 and 6 were upgraded and three district heating cogeneration plants were upgraded, which given sufficient financing could be done by 1998.

Source: Source Book: Soviet-Designed Nuclear Power Plants in Russia, Ukrane, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, and Bulgaria, 4th edition. Nuclear Energy Institute. 1996. (online)

Kozloduy : | Operating History | Technical Activities | Accomplishments |


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