On 1 April, 2022, a meeting of the Kozloduy Programme Monitoring Committee on implementation of the decommissioning of the NPP’s shutdown 440-megawatt reactor units being carried out by the enterprise, was held at the Information Centre for Decommissioning of State Enterprise Radioactive Waste. The meeting, aimed at reporting the second half of 2021, was preceded by a two-day visit by representatives of the European Commission (EC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Ministry of Energy to SERAW facilities, to monitor the Programme’s ongoing implementation.
The monitoring team consisted of: on the part of the EC – Jan Panek, Director of Directorate General for Energy, Carlo Sborchia – Policy Officer, Programme manager of Ignalina Decommissioning programme and Carlos Alvarez Aguilera – Policy Officer, Programme manager of Kozloduy Decommissioning programme; on the part of Bulgaria – Plamen Danailov and Danail Nikolov, Deputy Ministers of Energy, and experts from the Ministry of Energy; Valentin Šeider, Associate Director – Head of KIDSF, Nuclear Safety Department, EBRD, and on the part of SERAW – Dilyan Petrov, Executive Director, as well as top management representatives of the enterprise.
In order to get acquainted with the current status of the Decommissioning Programme, the participants in the monitoring mission visited Specialized Division Decommissioning of Units 1-4, where they witnessed the decontamination activities of the Primary Circuit of Units 3 and 4 Controlled Area, which will continue also for the first pair of 440 MW reactor units. The team also monitored on-the-spot the operation of the Plasma Melting Facility, the Size Reduction and Decontamination Workshop for materials from decommissioning, as well as the performance of the 3D model of Reactor Buildings of the shutdown reactor units, which virtually visualizes the dismantling progress in the Controlled Area, being the ‘Knowledge product created’ for 2021 for dissemination in the Union. The walkdown also included monitoring of the construction and installation activities of a prospective workshop for manufacturing of reinforced concrete containers for packaging of radioactive waste. In addition, the mission participants visited Radiana site, where the National Disposal Facility for Low and Intermediate level Radioactive Waste is being constructed.
During a one-day technical meeting, they were briefed in detail on the highlights of the decommissioning process achieved during the reporting period.
Among the main topics discussed during the Monitoring Committee were meeting of the planned deadlines of the individual projects and activities related to the overall decommissioning process, comprehensive evaluation of the PMF economic benefits, the need of joint analyses of the programme progress, taking into account the experience gained through the similar programme in Bohunice V1 NPP, Slovakia, which is also financed by EU funding.
After the closing session, Jan Panek summarised, “I was pleased to attend this meeting at the Information Centre for Decommissioning. We had a very fruitful discussion today, preceded by a walkdown yesterday, so that we were able to establish the successful completion of implementation and the progress of a large number of activities. Here, I would like to mention the decontamination of the units, where it is important to say that the Kozloduy project is using equipment that has previously been used in a similar decommissioning project at Bohunice V1 NPP and transferred to SERAW. We have seen how it has actually served the purposes of the decommissioning programme, even achieving higher effectiveness within shorter timeframes than what was initially achieved in Slovakia, and I think that this is a positive example of the benefits of experience sharing between the decommissioning programmes. We were also presented with very promising results of a comprehensive evaluation of the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of the Plasma Melting Facility, which makes the Kozloduy Programme unique. We have also identified the areas where risks need to be reduced and delays avoided, not only by the Bank, as the entrusted entity, but also by SERAW management. We will continue to closely monitor the schedule and budget of the Decommissioning Programme.”
“It was a very useful discussion. The whole team working here has done their best. You can definitely see the progress made over the last few months. This is good news. Of course, there remain all the challenges that we have to overcome, including, unfortunately, the war, which is taking place in Ukraine and which, in one way or another, is having an impact on the projects. However, I think that through joint efforts and with the special focus that the Ministry has put on the projects, we will be able to cope with.”, said for his part the Deputy Minister of Energy, Plamen Danailov, a Programme Coordinator of Bulgaria in the Monitoring Committee.
The Monitoring Mission takes place every six months and is aimed at ascertaining the real progress of decommissioning activities and projects, which are financed through grant funds by the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund (KIDSF). The last visit of EC and EBRD representatives took place in October 2021.
In accordance with Council Regulation of the European Union on the provision of grant funds to Bulgaria in the process of decommissioning of nuclear facilities* and the applicable procedures, the implementation of activities which are financed by the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund (KIDSF), shall be subject to regular monitoring. Pursuant to the current rules, the Decommissioning Programme progress shall be monitored every six months in several successive steps. SERAW shall draft a Monitoring Report presenting the implementation of the planned activities for the respective period, which shall be reviewed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and submitted to the Directorate-General for Energy (ENER) of the European Commission (EC). This is followed by on-the-spot visit to the Kozloduy site by European Commission representatives in order to directly monitor on-the-spot the implementation of the activities specified in the document. The procedure ends with a final meeting of the Committee at which the results of the monitoring shall be summarised and the Monitoring Report shall accordingly be approved.
* COUNCIL REGULATION (Euratom) 2021/100