Experts of the Energy Future for Bulgaria Association on 24 August declared themselves in favour of the building of a new nuclear facility, local media reported. Bulgaria should start developing new nuclear capacities as soon as possible to ensure its energy security, according to Association head Aleksandar Nikolov, former CEO of the Kozloduy NPP and assistant professor the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences "Since the 2015 international climate agreement of Paris opposes the development of new thermo-electric plants, Bulgaria's only option is to develop nuclear energy capacities," Standart News quoted him as saying on 24 August.
"We have already purchased two sets of nuclear reactor equipment worth €1bn, so now we only need to choose an appropriate site to install it," he said. Bulgaria's nuclear energy facilities should be 100% state-controlled and the government should develop a national nuclear energy strategy, he insisted.The new reactor could be installed either at the site of NPP Kozloduy, or at the partly built Belene NPP (which was cancelled in 2012), but in either case it should be managed by NPP Kozloduy, because of their long-established expertise and highly-trained personnel, he added.
Another expert of the Association, Alyosha Purvanov, Head of the General Plant Maintenance at the Kozloduy NPP, stressed Bulgaria’s commitments under the Paris climate agreement and the need of decommissioning coal plants. He said that Bulgaria has 36 units operating on coal with a total capacity of 5,372MWe, which accounts for 4.9% of all European coal facilities. However closing them would cause an energy crisis. Purvanov expressed doubt that a derogation would be granted to Bulgaria for an indefinite period of time and, for this reason, the construction of a new facility should begin as quickly as possible, BTA reported.