Bulgaria and the United States of America signed an Agreement on civil nuclear cooperation

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Bulgaria and the United States signed an Intergovernmental Agreement on cooperation on the Project for the construction of nuclear capacity on the Kozloduy NPP site and the civil nuclear program in Bulgaria. The event took place in the Granite Hall of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria on 12 February 2024. The Agreement was signed by the Minister of Energy Rumen Radev and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs Andrew Light. The document is signed in implementation of a Decision of the National Assembly from January 2023 to conduct negotiations and conclude an intergovernmental agreement between Bulgaria and the U.S.A. for the construction of a new nuclear capacity at Kozloduy NPP with AP- 1000 technology.

The ceremony was attended by the Chairman of the Energy Committee in the National Assembly, Delyan Dobrev, Deputy Chairman of the Energy Committee Radoslav Ribarski, the Executive Director of BEH EAD Ivan Andreev, the Executive Director of Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant EAD Valentin Nikolov, the Executive Director of “NPP Kozloduy - New Builds PLc” Petyo Ivanov, the Executive Director of NEK EAD Martin Georgiev, the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency Tsanko Bachiyski, the Chairman of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission Ivan Ivanov and Plamen Mladenovski, guests from the academic community and non-governmental sector,  engaged in nuclear energy.

The Agreement is based on a common commitment to the highest state-of-the-art standards of nuclear safety, security and nuclear safeguards. It aims at responsible use of nuclear energy to promote energy security, meet clean energy needs and deepen bilateral strategic relations. The Agreement includes concrete co-operation on the project to build new nuclear capacity at the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant site, as well the supply of nuclear fuel, training and exchange of personnel and knowledge, legal framework, etc.
In his speech Minister Radev underlined the importance of the signed Intergovernmental Agreement, which reinforces both sides' commitment to a strategic nuclear partnership. He stressed that Bulgaria is a country with almost half-century experience in the safe and reliable management of nuclear reactors, with strong scientific and educational traditions, and the United States is a leader in nuclear technology, safety, security and non-proliferation.

“With this agreement, we are actively working towards our common goal of a safer, cleaner and more sustainable future. And providing affordable and secure energy. Along with the creation of thousands of new jobs and job opportunities, training and economic growth, not only for the northwestern Bulgaria region, but for the whole country,” Minister Radev added.

Andrew Light, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, said that today’s event marks a significant milestone in the development of the strategic partnership between the United States and Bulgaria. “The ratification of this agreement will play a vital role in promoting the security and decarbonisation not only of the Bulgarian but also of the European energy sector and will support Bulgaria's efforts to strengthen all aspects of its civil nuclear program, including nuclear safety and security, nuclear fuel supply and the regulatory framework,” he added.

Both sides undertake to cooperate directly in the consultations and exchange of expertise and technical contributions with regard to the civil nuclear program of the Republic of Bulgaria, the identification of potential financing of the new nuclear capacity project, the research in development and deployment of innovative nuclear technologies, the development of expertise in spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste management.

The Agreement also covers regulatory cooperation based on the agreement signed at the end of last year between the Nuclear Regulatory Agency of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the United States for the exchange of technical information and cooperation, laboratory and university exchanges, training and exchange of personnel, supply chain development, research and development.

Bulgaria and the United States set up a Steering Committee to coordinate and manage the joint activities under the concluded Agreement. The document shall not create any financial rights or obligations for the parties.
For Bulgaria, nuclear energy plays an important role in ensuring national, regional and European energy security, providing affordable energy and moving towards a low-carbon economy.

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