A joint statement issued from the White House that capped a meeting between President Donald Trump and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov noted that the two governments would work together to advance energy cooperation, including nuclear power projects. The statement specified support for the commercial opportunity of using U.S. nuclear fuel to power Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power plant.
The statement said, “The United States and Bulgaria understand that energy security is national security. We underline our common understanding that the diversification of energy sources is a guarantee of energy security, independence, and competitiveness for our economies. Recognizing Bulgaria’s interest in moving toward more efficient and cleaner sources of energy, we will cooperate on increasing the supply of gas from diverse and reliable sources and diversifying the nuclear energy sector. To this end, the United States intends to send a technical team to Bulgaria to work with Bulgarian counterparts to explore the possibilities for further cooperation in different areas of energy, including nuclear. We share the view of only developing energy projects which have a clear economic basis or commercial need. The United States and Bulgaria also plan to work together to enhance Bulgaria’s energy security by supporting expeditiously the licensing and use of American nuclear fuel for the Kozloduy nuclear power plant, in strict compliance with the safety and diversification requirements and the rules of the European Union.”
The initiative represents energy diversity for Bulgaria and a business opportunity and stronger ties between the two countries for the United States. According to the World Nuclear Association, the nuclear power plant at Kozloduy generates a third of Bulgaria’s electricity. The plant is comprised of two VVER nuclear reactors of Russian design. Meanwhile, plans for the construction of two additional 1000 MWe reactors of Russian design (VVER-100/V-466 models) are moving forward.
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