Bulgaria started on 28 August began construction of a radioactive waste depot for the Kozloduy NPP. Germany-based Nukem Technologies, part of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom was contracted last year, along with four Bulgarian companies, to construct the first phase of the facility to support the decommissioning of four Soviet-era nuclear reactors at Kozloduy. The €72m ($87m) project is financed by the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund, administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The three-platform depot, with a capacity of 138,200 cubic metres, will be used to store long-term radioactive waste that has been initially safeguarded in reinforced concrete packages. The "near-surface trench type" depository will be located within the 3km security zone of the Kozloduy plant. The facility, which is expected to become operational in 2021,will be filled with radioactive waste over the next 60 years, according to the energy ministry. Bulgaria, which joined the European Union (EU) in 2007, was obliged to close its four reactors at Kozloduy as a condition for accession to the EU, despite undergoing a series of upgrades and being declared safe by several international expert teams.