SOFIA, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Bulgaria will consider using U.S.
technology for a new nuclear reactor it wants to build at the
country's 2,000 megawatt Kozloduy nuclear power plant, Prime
Minister Boyko Borissov said on Tuesday.
Borissov said the Balkan country was looking to diversify
its nuclear energy assets and cut greenhouse emissions by
building a new reactor based on modern technology that will work
with U.S. nuclear energy fuel.
The government is expected to give its nod on Wednesday to a
study that will explore the options for building new nuclear
assets at the Kozloduy site, the energy ministry said.
At present, Bulgaria operates two Soviet-made nuclear
reactors, Unit 5 and Unit 6, at its Kozloduy plant and is
seeking investors for its Belene project that aims to install
two 1,000 megawatt Russian nuclear reactors.
"We want to make Unit 7 with a completely different
technology, with different nuclear fuel," Borissov said in a
post and video on his official Facebook account during a visit
to the plant on the Danube River in northwestern Bulgaria.
Borissov's statement comes days after a visit of U.S. top
energy diplomat Frank Fannon to Sofia, who slammed the 10
billion euros ($11.8 billion) Belene project as based on an
outdated technology that fails to advance Bulgaria's energy
security and locks its energy dependency to Russia.
Work on the Belene project has been impeded by the
coronavirus crisis. On Tuesday, Borissov said the project was
still on the table, but he wanted to have alternatives.
Kozloduy produces about 30% of Bulgaria's electricity.
In 2014, Bulgaria signed a preliminary $7.7 billion deal
with U.S. Westinghouse to build a new reactor at Kozloduy, but
the plan failed the following year after cash-strapped Sofia
said the company should become a strategic investor in the
($1 = 0.8484 euros)
(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; editing by Emelia