New 100 million Euro fund will aid the decommissioning of Bulgarian nuclear power plant

A new internationally-backed fund to support the decommissioning of Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power station has been formally put into action following the signing of the technical document outlining the shutting-down of the facility.

The fund is to be administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which hosted the first meeting of the Assembly of Contributors to the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund during which the signing took place. The fund was started with donations purely from European Commission funds, but has since been added to by Member States from their own GDPs, an EBRD spokesman told edie. Significant additional contributions to the fund are expected following an agreement on the final date for closing Units Three and Four of the power plant.

“Today’s meeting is a clear sign that the implementation of the decommissioning programme of Kozloduy has started and the EU and the other donors are closely assisting Bulgaria in this task,” said Matthias Ruete, Director of Enlargement at the Directorate-General of the European Commission, and elected Chairman of the Assembly of Contributors. He added that he was particularly pleased that six countries, namely Denmark, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, have already contributed to the fund, and several more have indicated their intention to do so in the near future.

“The establishment of this fund will focus the international support on the essential investment projects for Bulgarian energy-sector development,” said Ivan Shiliashki, President of the State Agency for Energy and Energy Resources (SAEER), who signed the document on behalf of the Bulgarian Government. “The joint work of Bulgarian institutions and the EBRD will help secure implementation of the main strategic objectives for Bulgaria – security of supplies, guarantee of nuclear safety and improved energy efficiency.”

“The EBRD has been administering Nuclear Safety Funds since 1993 and is very pleased to see this important mandate grow further,” said Joachim Jahnke, a Vice President at the bank. “The EBRD signed a similar agreement with Lithuania for the decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant in April and will shortly start operating in the Slovak Republic as well.”

It is expected that there will be further meetings of the Assembly in order to update the contributors to the fund on how the decommissioning is progressing.

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