Westinghouse Delivers First VVER-1000 Fuel Reload to Bulgaria

Westinghouse Electric Company delivered the first reload of VVER-1000 fuel assemblies to Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in April, marking a key fuel diversification milestone in Bulgaria. The loading of the new fuel into KNPP Unit 5 was celebrated this week, on May 29th, 2024, at an event attended by Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria Dimitar Glavchev, Minister of Energy Vladimir Malinov and the U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria H.E. Kenneth Merten.

Westinghouse and KNPP signed a 10-year supply contract in December 2022. KNPP Unit 5 is using the RWFA VVER-1000 fuel design, which has a decade of excellent, safe operational performance in several Ukrainian nuclear plants. The first delivery follows a thorough and extensive fuel licensing process, a joint effort between KNPP and Westinghouse, supported by the Bulgarian engineering company ENPRO Consult, which conducted safety analysis and fuel licensing activities.

“We are excited to achieve the diversification of our fuel supply for Unit 5,” said Valentin Nikolov, Executive Director of the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant. “This is a key element of our strategy as we strive to maintain the high performance of our plant and ensure safe, reliable and affordable energy for Bulgaria and the region.”

“Kozloduy celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and we are pleased to contribute to our customer’s fuel supply diversification with this first reload,” said Tarik Choho, Westinghouse President of Nuclear Fuel. “We are looking forward to building on this long-term partnership as we also make significant progress with Kozloduy NPP on the opportunity to build two Westinghouse AP1000® units at this site.”

KNPP is the only nuclear power plant in Bulgaria. Units 5 and 6 have a total installed capacity of 2GW and supply approximately one-third of the country’s electricity. These units have been upgraded and modernized to extend their operational lives by 30 years each.

Westinghouse is a leading supplier of nuclear fuel, providing a uniquely diversified portfolio in the industry across nuclear reactor types, including PWR, BWR, AGR and VVER. Through our world-class manufacturing facilities in Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S., we focus on delivering innovative fuel technologies to meet our customers’ needs for lower fuel cycle costs, increased operational flexibility and efficiency, diversity of supply and accident-tolerant products.