The Chairman of the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (BNRA) Tsanko Bachiyski and the Deputy Chairman, Mr. Borislav Stanimirov carried out a working visit to Turkiye at the invitation of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NDK) of the country from 25 to 27 July 2022. During the visit, the two parties exchanged information on the structure and functions of the two regulatory bodies, their role in regulating the safe use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and the prospects for future cooperation between them. In the framework of the visit, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the BNRA and NDK for cooperation and information exchange in the field of nuclear safety and security. The text of the Memorandum was approved by a Decision No. 326 of the Council of Ministers dated May 20, 2022. The document provides for the exchange of expertise, technical and regulatory information in the field of nuclear and radiation safety, emergency response and preparedness, radioactive waste management and the transportation of radioactive material. Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, the Bulgarian delegation also visited the site of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, which is under construction in the province of Mersin. Akkuyu NPP is the first nuclear power plant in Turkiye and comprises of 4 new generation WWER reactors with a capacity of 1200 MW each. Akkuyu NPP is considered to be the largest construction site in the world at the moment, employing over 26,000 workers. The nuclear power plant is also the only one where the construction of all four nuclear units is carried out simultaneously. The first unit of the Akkuyu NPP is expected to be commissioned in 2023. After its final completion, the nuclear plant will produce about 35 billion kWh of electricity annually and cover about 10% of Turkiye electricity consumption. The country plans to build two more nuclear power plants as part of the development of its nuclear program.
The work of the 65th regular session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ended with the adoption of resolutions in the field of nuclear safety and security, technical cooperation, nuclear science, technology and application of nuclear methods, improving efficiency and effectiveness of the system of Safeguards under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and others. Elections were also held for new members of the IAEA Board of Governors and for the organization’s external auditor. The budget of the Agency for 2022-23 was also adopted. In parallel with the session, the NRA Chairman Mr. Tsanko Bachiyski participated in the meeting of the Forum for Cooperation of Regulators and in the Meeting of the Senior Representatives of the Regulators for Nuclear Safety and Security. Representatives of the NRA also participated in several events accompanying the General Conference – a forum to discuss the new platform for small modular reactors /SMR/, organized within the framework of the IAEA, and a meeting on the challenges of licensing SMR.