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City, Country
Kozloduy and Vratsa, Bulgaria

Number & type of Reactors
Unit 1-4: VVER-440/230
Unit 5-6: VVER-1000/320

Net Electric Power as % in 92 of national total
3, 760 MWe

Major population Centers in a 150 km radius and
total estimated population of 150 km r. region

Approximately 5 million including Sofia (200 km south east); directly on the Danube; includes parts of Romania and Serbia

Date of commercial operation start up
or (if unfinished) date of construction start.

Starting Dates: 1974, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1992; all units operating, with frequent shutdowns

NEK - operator/builder; AEE - supplier

Accidents and Dangers:

By November 1990, 261 documented events had occurred at Kozloduy: 63 safety-related, 18 scalable (one level 3, injuring many workers, and one level 4). Unit 5 had 17 shutdowns in its first 2 years of operation; Unit 6 had a load breakdown during start-up tests. Since Russia now asks hard currency to store waste, 700 tons have piled up at Kozloduy.

Local Contact Group:

For the Earth, attn: Marianna, Ralitsa, or Ognyan
30 Parchevich Street,
Sofia 1000, Bulgaria,
tel: +359-(0)2-88 01 07;

Key Arguments/History

"With 6 out of 7 leading accident indicators below average, operation of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant is truly a high-stakes gamble." say the US Dept of Energy. The IAEA made the unprecidented recommend that continued running of units 1 and 2 would be "imprudent". After this plea the reactors were closed for "refurbishment.ď A year later, these units were returned to service, however, major backfitting was not undertaken to correct a number of serious design defeciencies. There is essentially no protection for the public in the event of a major accident such as a large pipe break in the reactor coolant system or rupture of a reactor pressure vessel. Unit 5 was commissioned in 1988 but had persistant problems with its steam generators. Unit 5 and 6 have documented instrumentation and control deficiencies. Accident management is chronically under-funded and under-planned at local and national levels. For 1996 the first four reactors at Kozloduy need US$4.35 billion for implementing the necessary safety standards. Yet the Ministry of Finance didnít include any money in the budget for 1996 for upgrading safety at Kozloduy. The economic risks of alternative energies are lower than for Kozluduy's continued operation - besides potential costs of a disaster, "normal" Kozluduy accidents are expensive.


Energy efficiency - nearly a third of all energy produced is lost. Nine times more than in Japan is spent per GNP (very high energy intensity) . Decentralizing the grid would improve efficiency as would development of small renewable sources . There are many sources for small hydropower units, and the country is well situated for solar and wind energy. Also see Belene.