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Bulgaria starts construction of radioactive waste depot

Staff Writer |
Bulgaria started construction of a radioactive waste depot for its sole Kozloduy nuclear plant that is expected to become operational in 2021, the energy ministry said.

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Last year, the Black Sea state signed a contract with German Nukem Technologies, controlled by Russia’s state nuclear company Atomstroyexport, and four Bulgarian companies for the first phase of the facility that will help with the decommissioning of four Soviet-era nuclear reactors at Kozloduy.

The 72 million euros ($87 million) project is financed by the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund, administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

"The construction of the national radioactive waste depository is extremely important for the development of nuclear energy in Bulgaria," Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said.

The three-platform depot, with a capacity of 138,200 cubic metres, will be used to store long-term radioactive waste that has been initially safeguarded in reinforced concrete packages.

The "near-surface trench type" depository will be located in the 3-km "surveillance zone" of the Kozloduy plant. The facility will be filled with radioactive waste over the next 60 years.

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