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Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund

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.

Closure commitments

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:

  • to support the decommissioning of units 1-4 of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant, particularly through the provision of facilities for the storage and treatment of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste in a safe and cost effective manner
  • to address issues in the energy sector related to the closure of units 1-4 by demonstrating ways to reform and modernise both the supply and demand side of energy use in Bulgaria.
  • 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:

    • treat liquid and solid radioactive wastes on site and reduce their volume where possible
    • install water filters and decontaminate large tanks and storage spaces to prepare them for safe enclosure
    • characterise, measure and record nuclear wastes on site, and enable surface measurement around the site after the units' closure
    • monitor possible contamination of staff who work at the site and provide necessary treatment in case of contamination.

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.

  • Rehabilitation of the district heating network in Sofia. This €114 million programme is the single largest energy conservation project in Bulgaria funded by different lending institutions, including the World Bank, EU’s Phare and the EBRD. The KIDSF has provided a €30 million grant for the supply and replacement of network pipes and district heating substations, with the prospect of additional equipment as the project progresses. The whole package of rehabilitation measures incorporated in this District Heating Project has had an important effect upon the efficiency of heating and hot water supply in Sofia. Among the results achieved are: increased reliability of heat services and cost savings for customers, reduction of energy losses and a decrease in the adverse impact of energy production on the environment.
  • New electricity meters in private households. With the help of a €3 million from the KIDSF, new electricity meters in the residential sector have now successfully replaced the outdated and less efficient ones.
  • Energy efficiency improvements in public buildings. This project addresses the demand side of energy use in Bulgaria and is grant-financed from the KIDSF together with Bulgarian resources. It is aimed at the improvement of the energy balance of a range of public buildings all over the country, including 16 hospitals, 15 schools and 3 cultural buildings. The scope of the project covers the supply and implementation of specific measures designed to rehabilitate the existing energy installation in order to reduce losses and optimise consumption. As a result, those buildings are anticipated to achieve savings of nearly one-third of their current energy consumption levels.
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy credit line facility. The KIDSF contributes €10 million to this EBRD-funded facility, which was started in March 2004 to promote better energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the Bulgarian private, small and medium size industry sector. The credit line provides eligible Bulgarian banks with funds that can be sub lent to local businesses for the development of projects improving energy consumption and control, heat recovery, and the use of renewable energy. A further €10 million grant has been allocated also to the preparation of a similar EBRD credit line facility for the residential sector. The aim is to support Bulgarian families in their effort to increase the energy efficiency of their households, which include investments in the modernisation of wall insulations, replacement of windows, heating systems and others.

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 7 August 2014