BNRA issued an authorization for the new type of nuclear fuel for Unit 5 of Kozloduy NPP

Today, April 22, 2023, the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency issued a permit to the Kozloduy NPP for a transition to a new type of nuclear fuel RWFA for Unit 5 produced by Westinghouse. The transition period will last four years. In connection with the current and follow-up regulatory oversight carried out by the BNRA, the issued permit contains a number of conditions related to the transition to the new type of nuclear fuel. These include requirements both for making changes to the existing instructions and documents defining the activities with the new fuel, and for periodically providing additional information on the operation of the fuel and performing analyzes and undertaking additional measures when necessary. A substantial part of the licensing process for the new nuclear fuel is related to the review and assessment of the technical documents submitted with the application for a permit, in order to demonstrate the safety during operation with the new type of fuel. Considerable human resources were involved in the review of the technical documentation, both from the BNRA and from external Bulgarian and foreign technical support organizations. This ensures the application of a harmonized approach and best European practices in licensing a new type of nuclear fuel. During the licensing process, compliance of the information presented in over 75 fuel design reports and modifies operational documents with applicable safety requirements and standards was assessed. As a result of the review of the documents, the BNRA formulated and sent to the applicant questions, comments and requests for additional information needed to demonstrate the fulfillment of the safety requirements. In response, new revisions to over 40 documents, as well as new reports related to the RWFA safety assessment were submitted for review. A number of meetings were held with Kozloduy NPP, the designer and fuel manufacturer, to discuss issues that arose during the review process. As part of the communication with the interested parties, topical questions posed by national deputies of the Parliament related to the process of licensing the new type of nuclear fuel were also answered.