published : 2023-10-26

Bulgaria Expands Nuclear Power Generation with Two New Reactors

Reactors to Provide 2,300 MW of Clean Energy

A breathtaking panoramic view of the Bulgarian nuclear power plant, taken with a Nikon D850.

Bulgaria, in a bid to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, has made a strategic decision to expand its nuclear power generation.

The country announced the launch of the construction of two additional reactors at its only nuclear power plant.

These new reactors, utilizing Westinghouse's advanced technology, are expected to generate a total of 2,300 megawatts of electricity.

The move marks a significant step towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future for Bulgaria.

In a recent agreement, U.S.-based nuclear equipment manufacturer Westinghouse Electric Co. partnered with the Kozloduy plant to deploy one or two AP1000 pressurized water reactor units.

Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov revealed that an initial allocation of 250 million euros ($270 million) has been made for the project.

Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov inspecting the construction progress of the new reactors, captured with a Canon EOS R5.

It is estimated that the first reactor will be operational by 2033, with the second reactor following two to three years later.

The endeavor demonstrates Bulgaria's commitment to diversify its energy sources and reduce its dependence on Moscow.

Bulgaria currently relies on two Russian-designed VVER-1000 reactors, each generating 1000 MW of electricity.

These reactors, which account for approximately one-third of the country's total electricity production, will reach the end of their operational licenses in 2027 and 2029.

However, subject to regulatory approval, they may continue to be operated beyond those dates.

In line with its accession to the European Union in 2006, Bulgaria decommissioned four older VVER-440 units.

An artist's illustration showcasing the advanced technology employed by the Westinghouse reactors, created with a Sony Alpha a7 III.

Prime Minister Denkov emphasized that the new reactors will far surpass the capacity of the closed units, exceeding a total of 1,760 MW.

The advanced technology employed by these reactors ensures stable management of the energy system, contributing to a secure and reliable supply of electricity.

As part of its energy diversification efforts, Bulgaria secured agreements with France's Framatome and Westinghouse Electric to receive fresh nuclear fuel for its operating reactors.

These collaborative efforts not only enhance Bulgaria's energy security but also foster partnerships with leading players in the nuclear energy sector.

Bulgaria's decisive actions reflect the country's firm stance against Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its determination to reduce energy dependence on Moscow.

The expansion of nuclear power generation in Bulgaria is poised to shape a brighter and more sustainable future, both for the country and the region as a whole.