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SOFIA (Bulgaria), February 14 (SeeNews) – Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power plant (NPP) said it will hold direct talks with Russian nuclear engineering company Izhorskiye Zavody on the supply of 22 spent nuclear fuel shipping casks worth an estimated 14.5 million levs ($7.9 million/7.4 million euro).
The casks for the fuel used at the NPP’s reactors of the VVER-1000 type are not standard and are manufactured solely by Izhorskiye Zavody, a tender notice posted on the website of Bulgaria’s Public Procurement Agency last week stated.
On Monday, Izhorskiye Zavody said it it is loading equipment for the abandoned Belene NPP project for shipment to Bulgaria.
In December, Bulgaria’s NEK said it paid 601.6 million euro ($638.7 million) as compensation to Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Russia's Rosatom, for the equipment manufactured by the Russian side for the Belene nuclear power plant project, which Bulgaria had abandoned.
The funds were awarded to Atomstroyexport by the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva, which earlier in 2016 ruled that NEK must pay compensation to the Russian company for ditching the project for the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belene, on the Danube river. NEK will now take possession of the manufactured equipment.
In 2008, Bulgaria hired Atomstroyexport to build a 2,000 MW nuclear plant in Belene, reviving a project that had been mothballed for nearly two decades. After the project made scant headway, Sofia finally abandoned it with a parliament decision in February 2013. The government cancelled the project a year earlier due to disagreement over its estimated cost and failure to attract a strategic investor.
Kozloduy NPP remained with two operational units - Units 5 and 6 - of 1,000 MW each after the country closed down four units of 440 MW each to address nuclear safety concerns of the European Union prior to its accession to the bloc in 2007.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)