An IAEA Safety Review Mission was conducted in late June at Bulgaria's Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) units 3 and 4.
The IAEA mission was requested by the Government as a wrap-up of more than a decade of safety upgrades and assessments, including a series of actions recommended by various IAEA review teams. Kozloduy NPP management estimates that the total investment in safety improvements between 1991 and 2006 will exceed 700 million Euros. In the wake of the 1991 IAEA review, the international community began providing funds for the safety improvements. In 1997, Kozloduy management undertook a large scale upgrade program at units 3 and 4, which was completed during 2002.
The findings of the 2002 IAEA review demonstrate sizeable progress at Kozloduy 3 and 4 since 1991, when the IAEA first undertook a safety review of the units.
The IAEA 2002 team concluded that the operational and design safety at Kozloduy now corresponds to the level of improvements seen at similar vintage plants. The team's analysis also confirmed that the reactors can cope with loss-of-coolant accidents involving "the whole spectrum" of primary pipe breaks. Many of the safety measures taken by the plants exceeded those that were foreseen in the design, operation and seismic areas. Plant management and technical personnel were found to be dedicated to giving the highest priority to safety issues on a continuing basis. The experts noted the implementation of modernized instrumentation and control systems and symptom-based emergency operating procedures. Good improvements were also found in the material condition and housekeeping of the plant.
The detailed report and the findings are expected to be released later this month.