A contract for Phase I of the National Disposal Facility for Low- and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste (NDF) was signed on 7 July 2016 between the Executive Director of SERAW – Mr. Dilyan Petrov and the authorised representatives of a German-Bulgarian Consortium ‘National Disposal Facility’, selected to implement the construction.
The contract signing ceremony was held in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Energy – Mr. Nikolay Nikolov and Mr. Vince Novak – Director of Nuclear safety Department at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in its capacity as Fund administrator.
The Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund (KIDSF) is financing the project through grants and the value of Phase I of the disposal facility’s construction is
EUR 71,820,000. It should be completed within 60 months and the repository is to be commissioned in 2021.
The Contractor was selected in strict compliance with an open and competitive tender procedure initiated in 2015 in accordance with the EBRD Procurement Policies and Rules. The Consortium was established especially for the purposes of the project and carries its name. The leading company is Nukem Technologies GmbH from Germany and the Consortium also includes four Bulgarian companies. The lead partner has proven experience in the construction of such facilities in Ukraine and Lithuania.
In his speech during the event, the Deputy Minister Nikolov emphasised that the project is significant not only for Bulgaria, but also has European impact.
Mr. Petrov expressed his profound gratitude to all institutions that had contributed to signing of the contract. He emphasised that the NDF project is of exceptional importance to the successful implementation of activities for safe management of radioactive waste generated from the operation of Kozloduy NPP and the decommissioning of the shutdown Units 1 to 4 of the nuclear power plant.
The construction of the NDF is a national priority for the Republic of Bulgaria.
The future repository will not be used for disposal of spent nuclear fuel or radioactive waste from third countries.
The project was assigned to SERAW with Council of Ministers Decision № 683/25.07.2005. With the decision of the government the disposal facility received a status of national importance, and with additional decision it was defined to be a strategic site in regard to the national security.
SERAW commenced the project activities after receiving permission from BNRA for site selection in May 2006. In the follow-up period SERAW experts conducted a huge quantity of surveys, studies, analyses and assessments, meeting the requirements of the Bulgarian legislation, the EU and in compliance with the IAEA standards, and applying the best international practices.
Considering the progress of the country in implementation of the NDF programme, the 25th Assembly of Contributors of the KIDSF, which took place on 14 June 2013, approved the signing of a Grant Agreement for construction of the first stage of the facility where the RAW generated from the operation of KNPP and from the decommissioning of Units 1-4 will be disposed. The Fund reaffirmed its support for the project and approved the update of the amount of the grant proposed by the Bulgarian side.
The money from the Grant Agreement will be used to finance the following activities:
•    Construction of the first RAW disposal module of capacity 6 336 concrete containers and adjacent buildings and facilities, supply of systems and equipment, installation and testing, as well as commissioning in accordance with the requirements of the Law on Spatial Planning and for obtaining of a Utilisation permit;
•    Independent construction supervision and supervision of Phase I construction;
•    Preparation of licensing documentation for decommissioning and receiving a license in compliance with the nuclear regulation.