The Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA) in Bulgaria has approved of the first license extension in the country for a nuclear power plant, giving Unit 5 at the Kuzloduy plant an additional 10 years of operational life.
There are two currently operating nuclear reactors on site, Units 5 and 6, which are VVER-1000 pressurized water reactors, according to the World Nuclear Association. Four older units at the plant, each of them VVER-440 units, have been shut down.
Federal laws in Bulgaria limit nuclear plant extensions to 10 years. The reactor's license was set to expire this year, but the unit could safely operate through 2047, according to a comment from the country's Energy Ministry citing a conclusion reached by the NRA.
Bulgaria has no other nuclear reactors operating in the country, although site work for a second plant in Belene near the Danube was begun in 1980. Up to six new reactors were envisioned, but construction of the first VVER-1000 V-320 model, begun in 1987, was abandoned in 1991 with that reactor 80 percent completed, due to a lack of funding.
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