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The Bulgarian nuclear power plant at Kozloduy was built to Soviet design with six reactors of the VVER type. The Western European Nuclear Regulatory Association, and other experts, consider that units 1-4 (VVER 440-230) do not reach acceptable safety levels. The deficiencies concern the original design of the reactors and the limited function of their confinement systems.
In view of Bulgaria's accession to the European Union, in 1999 the Bulgarian government entered into a political understanding with the European Commission to close down Kozloduy nuclear power plant (units 1-4). Units 1 and 2 were shut down in 2002 and units 3 and 4 in 2006.
The European Commission and other western European donors offered the Bulgarian government an assistance programme to cope with the early closure of the plant and the development of a competitive energy sector. In June 2001, the KIDSF was established at the EBRD.
The Fund operates on the basis of a Framework Agreement between the EBRD and the Bulgarian government, which has also been approved by the KIDSF Assembly of Contributors and ratified by the Bulgarian Parliament. More than €170 million has been committed in contributions from the European Community, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The Kozloduy IDSF finances and co-finances selected projects for two main purposes:
Currently the KIDSF decommissioning package provides grant financing for facilities designed to provide interim storage of the spent fuel and management of the generated radioactive wastes.
The contract for the design and construction of an interim spent nuclear fuel storage facility has been signed. When completed, the storage facility will be used to accommodate the spent fuel from the decommissioned reactors for a period of over 50 years. The project is developed in compliance with the relevant Bulgarian, EU and the EBRD's environmental standards and regulations.
A further grant within the KIDSF decommissioning package has been allocated for the works involved in the physical separation of the decommissioned units 1 and 2 from the still functioning parts of the plant (units 3-6). New administrative measures are being put in place to ensure adequate security levels of access to the decommissioned site.
Further priority projects, designed to provide the necessary state-of-the-art equipment, will be used to:
The KIDSF energy efficiency package for Bulgaria has been launched in line with the National Energy Strategy in which the Bulgarian government outlines steps to improve the energy sector within a 10 year period. The measures are aimed at introducing milestone improvements both on the supply and demand side of the energy sector.
It has been projected that, as a result of the above improvements, the total savings in energy consumption by 2006 would be equivalent to the installed capacity of a nearly 200 MW power plant.
The KIDSF energy efficiency package is used for pilot projects that have been designed to demonstrate the economic viability of the applied energy saving measures. These measures can be replicated across other Bulgarian regions lacking efficient and competitive energy supply-and-demand infrastructure. The next region identified for similar assistance is the district of Pernik, near Sofia.
The KIDSF is in a position to consider new projects for grant funding to support off-site decommissioning infrastructure works and promote new end-consumer efficiency measures in the residential sector.
Last updated 17 June 2011