Westinghouse is to study the feasibility of a seventh unit at Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear power plant, focusing on a hybrid reactor design incorporating VVER equipment as one of two possible options.
The contract to carry out the study was signed at a ceremony attended by Bulgarian economy, energy and tourism minister Delian Dobrev. Earlier this year the Bulgarian government decided to shelve plans for a new VVER nuclear power plant at Belene, identifying the construction of a new unit at the existing Kozloduy site as a more realistic option. Westinghouse was selected from a list of five possible candidates - the other four being Worley Parsons, Risk Engineering, Areva, and an Areva-Mitsubishi-Westinghouse consortium - to perform the feasibility study for the project.
Before deciding to drop the Belene project, the Bulgarian government began site preparation works and placed contracts for long-lead components for the first of two 1060 MWe AES-92 VVER pressurized water reactors. Westinghouse's feasibility study will consider a hybrid design using the already-purchased VVER equipment together with Westinghouse instrumentation and control systems, fuel and a Toshiba turbogenerator as one of two potential options. The second option will be the construction and operation of "a pressurized water reactor 1000-1200 MWe design" - a description that suggests Westinghouse's AP1000.
The feasibility study is to include an evaluation of the site, radioactive waste and used fuel management, reuse of existing infrastructures and facilities, licensing, local economic aspects, and the profitability of the two reactor designs. Kozloduy is home to two VVER units, operating since the late 1980s and early 1990s. Four earlier units at the site were closed as a condition of Bulgaria's accession to the European Union and are now being decommissioned.
Westinghouse president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Yves Brachet said the company was pleased to have been chosen in the competitive selection process for the feasibility study and said its prior experience with the operating units at Kozloduy "places us in a unique position to provide the customer with a solution to complete a VVER-designed plant." Westinghouse has been involved with Kozloduy's existing units for many years, and in June 2011 signed a memorandum of understanding with state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding covering cooperation on a range of projects at Kozloduy including supporting the existing operational plants, decommissioning the four non-operational units, and general considerations including proposed new build.
Westinghouse has until March 2013 to complete the study.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News