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PLAMEN GRAMATIKOV * South-Western University “Neofit Rilski”, Ivan Mihailov 66, 2700 Blagoevgrad, Republic of Bulgaria

Abstract: The Bulgarian energy sector covers at the moment 45% of the total energy deficit of the Balkan region. The policy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the area of nuclear energy utilization, legislative, and regulatory framework, and development of the regulatory basis for nuclear power plant (NPP) mana- gement and for environmental protection, assessment, and verification of safety are presented in this paper.

Keywords: energy demand; nuclear energy; regional environmental security

1. Introduction

The expected exponential growth in demand for energy services, in particular in developing regions, and the global, regional, and local environmental impacts resulting from the supply and use of energy will pose in the future the quest- ion – How can we supply energy for the inhabitants of the Earth, sufficient to meet every ones needs, without causing serious, irreversible damage to the environment? This is timely as we face the global challenges of addressing climate change, providing a secure and reliable supply of energy and the depletion of oil. Fossil fuels provide cheap and convenient sources of energy and no single solution can replace them. But unless we change course, developing alternatives to fossil fuel sources of energy and address how we use it, the next generations could face dangerous climate change and major restrictions to their lifestyles and economic development with the potential for conflicts over energy supplies. Our

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. Plamen S. Gramatikov, Physics Dept., South-Western University “Neofit Rilski”, Ivan Mihailov 66, 2700 Blagoevgrad, Republic of Bulgaria; e-mail: psgramat@


R. N. Hull et al. (eds.), Strategies to Enhance Environmental Security in Transition Countries, 263–277. © 2007 Springer.


generation – rightly – will be blamed for knowingly squandering the planet’s resources. The input for the change will be from leading scientists and engineers representing a whole spectrum of possible energy solutions. The future prospect of all forms of energy depends most critically today on two factors: (1) environmental policies, especially with respect to greenhouse gas emissions and (2) future commercial fossil fuel prices, mainly oil and gas. Secure nuclear energy utilization is one of the modern, ecological, and real opportunities to satisfy the growth in energy needs of developing areas, such as the Balkans, and to export electricity to neighboring regions.

2. Regional Demand and Supply of Energy in the Balkans, Outlook



Four different kinds of countries at different stages of development and transi- tion to market economics exist on the Balkan Peninsula: European Union (EU) members (Greece); two accession countries in the EU (Bulgaria and Romania); EU applicant countries (Turkey and Croatia); and others. The total population in the region is 55.7 million and the average value of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is $1765 (Figure 1).

domestic product (GDP) per capita is $1765 (Figure 1). Figure 1. Average population (million) and value

Figure 1. Average population (million) and value of GDP per capita (US dollars) of Southeast European countries.



Basic principles of the “Global scenarios of energy policy till 2050” investigation of the World Energy Council are:

Accessibility – the extent to which people have access to modern energy

Availability – the reliability and security of energy supply systems, once access has been achieved

Acceptability – the environmental sustainability of energy supply and use

All scenarios predict great economic development and, as a result, growth of the regional GDP and power demand in the near future. At the moment, total installed power capacity is about 49.5 gigawatts (GW). A peak load increase of 2.2% per annum (p.a.) is expected for the period 2002– 2012, from 31.4 to 38.2 GW. Regional public utilities expect their electricity demand only to grow at a rate of 2.3% p.a. for the period 2002–2012, from 171 to 214 terawatt hours (TWh), hence the region plans to add about 4.5 GW through 2012 to meet demand. Expectations are that this tendency will continue beyond 2012 (Figure 2).


800 600 400 200 0 2005 2010 2015 2020

Figure 2. Forecast for total electricity consumption of the Balkan region for the period 2002– 2020 in TWh (Anastassov, 2006).

Rehabilitation of about 4000 megawatts (MW) of existing capacity would be required to meet this demand. Without investments in new generation, the region may require the rehabilitation of up to 6500 MW.





Today, nuclear energy is planned for use all over the world. The USA plans to create 110 new units in nuclear power plants (NPPs) and five of them are already licensed. Russia intends to build in total 100 nuclear units by 2030 – 40 on its territory and 60 abroad. The projects for new NPP exist also in Finland, China, India, Iran, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Turkey, Vietnam, and Australia. One of the reasons is that expenditures for electrical output by nuclear energy are lower than other energy sources (Figure 3) (Tarjanne and Luostarinen, 2004).

energy sources (Figure 3) (Tarjanne and Luostarinen, 2004). Figure 3. Electrical output expenditures without emi ssions

Figure 3. Electrical output expenditures without emissions trading: 1 – fuel expenditures, 2 – expenditures for operation and maintenance, 3 – property expenditure.

According to the low scenario of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), electricity generation by nuclear energy in 2030 will rise by 34% compared with 2003. The highest scenario forecasts electricity generation by nuclear energy for the same period to increase 86%. All scenarios forecast that the largest increase of electricity production by nuclear energy for the same period will be realized in the Far East and in Eastern Europe. At the moment about 440 nuclear units are operating in 31 countries with total installed electrical power of 365,560 megawatts electrical (MW e ). Nuclear energy forms 16% of the total electricity output in the world and 35% of the total electricity output in Europe. At the end of 2004, 26 new nuclear units with a total capacity of 21,276 MW e were in construction and 17 of them are in China, Southern and Northern Korea, Japan, and India. The Balkan regional primary energy balance is presented in Figure 4.




Figure 4. Regional primary energy balance.


In 2001, IAEA identified security culture as one of the 12 principles underlying fissile material security (IAEA, 2001). The IAEA provisionally defines nuclear security culture as “that assembly of characteristics, attitudes and behaviours in individuals, organizations and institutions, which support the objectives of nuclear security and ensures that it receives the attention warranted by its significance”. In July 2005, a series of amendments to the “Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material” was approved elevating the status of security culture to that of a treaty obligation. Yet, a common definition of this concept has proven elusive. Unless the international community can reach a common understanding of security culture, cross-national comparison and eva- luation will prove difficult, if not impossible, and governments will find it difficult to discharge their international obligations. Ever changing environments impose new needs on the management of NPPs. In order to achieve operational excellence and optimal safety under these changing environments, the nuclear industry is adopting organizational learning approaches. NPPs continuously undergo changes as dictated by the existing political, social, economical, technological, regulatory, and other conditions each time. Implementing these changes could potentially cause minor problems that could lead to a chain reaction of events resulting in a deterioration of safety and/or public trust in the safety standards. An investigation of the European and Transport Forum on the European citizens’ opinion about nuclear power (Eurobarometer, 2005) shows that:

60% of Europeans believe that nuclear energy gives opportunity for di- versification of energy sources

61% of Europeans believe that nuclear energy helps decrease European dependence on gas


62% of Europeans agree that nuclear energy emits less CO 2 into the atmosphere compared with coal and oil

3. Present Condition and Future Development of the Bulgarian Nuclear Energy Sector

The Bulgarian energy sector currently covers approximately 45% of the cons- tant deficit in the total energy balance of the Balkan region, and in the 2003 hot dry summer, up to 100%. Since 1993, Bulgaria has become a net electricity exporter and plays a key role in regional stability (Gramatikov, 2005). Six units having a total electrical capacity of 3760 MW e have been installed in the Kozloduy NPP (Table 1) (Gramatikov, 2002). During the last several years, the first Bulgarian NPP “Kozloduy” has provided more than 44% of the total electricity generation in the country. After disconnection of units 1 and 2 from the national grid, the percentage decreased to 40.6 in 2003.

TABLE 1. Installed nuclear capacities in Bulgaria



Year of start-up

Kozloduy 1


1974 (stopped in 2003)

Kozloduy 2 Kozloduy 3 Kozloduy 4 Kozloduy 5 Kozloduy 6 Belene 1 and 2


1975 (stopped in 2003)










Construction frozen in 1999

Bulgaria also agreed with the EU request to shut down units 3 and 4 as of 1 January 2007. The shutdown will result in no export of electricity for 2 years at least. Therefore, the problem of the future existence and operation of the NPP Kozloduy and creation of the second Bulgarian NPP in Belene is extremely important not only for Bulgaria, but also for the entire Balkan region. Direct losses to Bulgaria because of the prescheduled stop of the first four units of the NPP “Kozloduy” are estimated at about €1.617 billion. Possible scenarios for future development of the Bulgarian energy sector are shown below (Figure 5):

1. Short-term low growth – energy saving, decentralized sources

2. Long-term low growth – renewable energy sources, energy efficiency



BULGARIAN NUCLEAR PLANTS AND ENVIRONMENT 269 Figure 5. Possible scenarios for future development of the Bulgarian

Figure 5. Possible scenarios for future development of the Bulgarian energetics.

3. Long-term high growth – nuclear energy, coal clean technologies, energy efficiency, new technologies, renewable sources

4. Short-term high growth – energy efficiency, research and development (R&D) activities, coal technologies

4. Nuclear Environmental Security in Bulgaria


Nuclear hazardous waste generated in Bulgaria in 2003 was 73% of that gene- rated in 1999. The expenditure on protection and restoration of the environment was 570 million Bulgarian Levs in 2003, which was 17% more than in 2002. The relative share of the total expenditure on protection and restoration of the environment was 1.7% of GDP in 2003 and it increased by 0.2 points compared to the previous year (Catalogue of Statistical Publications, 2005). The main areas with the highest relative share of expenditures in 2003 were:

protection of the water resources – 31.2% (25.9% in 2002), air protection – 22.8% (17% in 2002), and detoxification of waste – 20.1% (23.8% in 2002). The relative share for protection of soil and forests was respectively 3.2% and 1.8% of the total expenditure in 2003. At the end of 2003, the tangible fixed assets were 1133 million Levs (926 million Levs in 2002), an increase of about 30%.


The Kozloduy NPP contributes also to the air purity on the Balkan Peninsula. If the electricity generated by Kozloduy NPP for 1 year was produced by ther- mal power plants, this would result in an additional emission of 27 million tons of CO 2 , 1.2 million tons of SO 2 , 78 million tons of NO x , and about 52 t of dust containing toxic mixtures and natural radionuclides. In order to fulfill the obligations for preservation of the environment and reduction of the emissions of CO 2 , SO 2 , NO x , and ash (Kyoto Protocol), Bulgaria plans to continue to rely on nuclear energy and to develop it according to the current requirements for nuclear safety, radiation protection, efficiency, and reliability of operations. Nuclear safety in Bulgaria is evaluated according to the EU’s policy document Agenda 2000 and Western European Nuclear Regulator’s Association (WENRA) requirements.


The Republic of Bulgaria is amongst the contracting parties that ratified the Convention on Nuclear Safety (in force for Bulgaria since 24 October 1996). With this Act the country confirmed the national policy for maintaining a high level of nuclear safety, assurance of necessary transparency, and the application of the highest standards. With the enforcement of the new Act on Safe Use of Nuclear Energy (2002) and the set of Regulations for applying it (in force since September 2002) the regulatory basis is established for communicating to the public in the area of safe use of nuclear energy. Further development of the regulatory basis in the area is connected with the legislation of the EU as far as Bulgaria took the obligation to incorporate the European Directives. The improvement of the documents issued by international organizations like IAEA and WENRA is also used as a basis for both updating the existing and development of new regu- latory documents. According to the old Act, the body with the executive power was a collec- tive body known as the Committee on Use of Atomic Energy in Peaceful Purposes. Included in the Committee were representatives of other bodies and organizations, some of them having direct responsibilities for utilization of nuclear energy and NPP operation. In the new Act, the independence of the regulatory authority is supported by the fact that the function of development support for nuclear energy utilization is not included in its functions, as it was in the old Act. According to Article 4 of the new Act, the state regulation of the safe use of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation and the safety of radioactive waste management and spent fuel management is implemented by the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory



Agency (NRA). In the Act the idea for independence of the regulatory authority is systematically introduced in several areas:




This represents a significant change in the status of the regulatory authority in regard to the superseded old Act. The decree for approval regulates the transfer of responsibilities, rights, and obligations from the former Committee on Use of Atomic Energy in Peaceful Purposes to the new Agency. The Organizational Statute of the Agency rules the total number of admi- nistered staff, the functions of the administrative departments of the Agency and appoints the chairman of the Agency as a primary administrator of budget loans. In his work for fulfillment of the authorities under the Act, the NRA Chairman is assisted by an administrative organization in the NRA. The admi- nistration of the NRA is organized in one main directorate and four departments, split into general and specialized administrations. The overall management of the administration is performed by the Chief Secretary. The organizational and managerial flow chart of the Agency is shown in Figure 6. The deputies of the NRA shall be designated by a decision of the Council of Ministers on a motion by the NRA Chairman. This is an additional element of the independence of the regulatory body and gives the chairman a possibility for recruitment of an effective team of well-qualified experts. The total number of administered staff is 102, including 37 inspectors of safety on nuclear facilities. Six of them are located permanently on Kozloduy NPP site. 95% of the inspectors have a university degree and 60% of them have over 15 years experience in the field of nuclear energy utilization. As an independent regulatory body in the system of executive power, the Chairman of NRA reports directly to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers (the Prime Minister). In addition, the Chairman of the NRA informs the National Assembly about the matters of nuclear safety and radiation protection by participating at the sessions of the National Assembly and its commissions, when it is appropriate. An important aspect of the political independence of the regulatory body is the appointment of its Chairman for a 5-year mandate. This is a guarantee for its independence against the specific composition of the Council of Ministers, which appoints him and ensures continuity of the policy of the NRA. The new Act sets specific requirements for the person who may be appointed as NRA in regard to the education, experience in the nuclear field, etc. The new Act creates conditions for financial independence of the regulatory authority. In accordance with the Act, the Agency operations are financed by the national budget and by income from the fees collected under the Act


272 BULGARIAN NUCLEAR PLANTS AND ENVIRONMENT Figure 6. Organizational statute of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA).

Figure 6. Organizational statute of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA).

provisions. The order of priority for expenditures of Agency financial resources is the following:

Financing of studies, analyses, and expertise connected with the assessment of nuclear safety and radiation protection and financing of regulatory acti- vities under the Act

Capital expenditures on development of the Agency infrastructure

Training and qualification of Agency staff

Additional financial motivation of the Agency personnel

Figure 7 presents the increase of the regulatory authority budget for the last several years. The new Act mandates the establishment of the Advisory Council on Nuclear Safety and the Advisory Council on Radiation Protection. The NRA Chairman approves the composition of the Advisory Councils. Included in the Advisory Councils are prominent scientists and experts in the field of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation, radioactive waste management, and spent fuel management.



BULGARIAN NUCLEAR PLANTS AND ENVIRONMENT 273 Figure 7. The regulatory authority budget for 2000–2003. The Advisory

Figure 7. The regulatory authority budget for 2000–2003.

The Advisory Councils shall assist the Chairman by giving expert advice on the scientific aspects of nuclear safety and radiation protection. The established regulatory system was highly evaluated by the IAEA International Regulatory Review Team (IRRT) mission held in June 2003 (IRRT, 2003). It was also positively assessed in the conclusions of the peer review, held in November 2003 by an expert team of Atomic Questions Group of the European Commission (Peer Review on Nuclear Safety in Bulgaria, 2003). They found that all recommendations related to the regulatory regime in Bulgaria were adequately addressed and no further monitoring on the regulatory system of Bulgaria by the EC was necessary.


Article 3 7 states that doses from ionizing radiation to the personnel and the population must be kept As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) prin- ciple. The regulation for basic standards in radiation protection (BNRP-2000) is based on international safety standards (IAEA, 1996) and EU Directive 96/29. The gamma background in the 3 km zone around Kozloduy NPP is mea- sured continuously with an automated system for external radiation control (“Berthold”). The system has ten monitoring stations for measuring the gamma background and the activity of 131 I in the ground level of the atmosphere, five water stations, and three meteorological stations. The radiation monitoring system in Kozloduy NPP is integrated with a similar system of the Ministry of Environment and Waters. Information is exchanged online.


Radiological monitoring in the country is carried out according to a program which is part of the National Automated System for Ecological Monitoring (NASEM), which provides a network of surveillance points, periodicity of sampling, and a suite of radiological indicators being monitored. Radioactive contamination of the atmosphere, soils, surface waters, ground waters, and other objects of the environment is being monitored. Continuous surveillance of the equivalent dose rate across the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria is carried out as part of the National Automated Sys- tem for continuous monitoring of the gamma background. It consists of 26 local monitoring stations, covering the whole country, and regional monitoring stations in the regional inspectorates of Varna and Vratza, and a central moni- toring station in the Executive agency of environment, where the centralized database is kept. The information is gathered in real time and is transmitted to the emergency center of the NRA and the national reaction center in the State Agency for Civil Protection. Radiological results from analyses of the main components of the envi- ronment like air, water, soil, and vegetation, as well as foods typical for the region of Kozloduy NPP, are within natural limits for the geographical latitude. Measured concentrations are many times below legal norms and are comparable to data from previous years and the period before the commissioning of the plant, 1972–1974. As in previous years, in 2005 there was no registered devia- tion in the radioecological parameters caused by the operation of the NPP. The radiation situation in the 100 km zone around the plant is stable and favorable. The policy for management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, infor- mation for quantities and facilities for processing and storage are presented circumstantially in the National Report on Joint Convention for safe manage- ment of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel (Nuclear Regulatory Agency,


The disposal of toxic waste remains a major problem for EU countries. The practice of burying the waste underground has long been found to be unsatis- factory since the wastes can leach into ground water, resulting in a significant pollution problem. Disposal of radioactive waste takes place in geological for- mations, for which performance assessments are carried out. On the Kozloduy NPP site a complex for treatment, processing and storage of radioactive waste operates. The complex includes a line for supercompaction of solid radioactive waste, a line for treatment and processing of liquid radio- active waste, and interim storage for processed radioactive waste. Currently, the activities on radioactive waste in Kozloduy NPP include collection, handling, processing, and storage of liquid and solid radioactive waste on the plant site. The gaseous radioactive substances, generated during operation of the nuclear



facilities on the site are released into the environment after purification, as permitted by the regulatory authority. Financing of the radioactive waste management activities comes from the Radioactive Waste Fund. The contributions to the Radioactive Waste Fund are operational expenses of the nuclear facility operators and are included in the price of electricity. After 2001, financing of all Kozloduy NPP activities in the area of radioactive waste management is done with funds provided solely from the Bulgarian country, with the exception of the projects financed by the IAEA programs for technical cooperation. Long-term prognoses show that the resources available at the moment and estimated future payments to the fund will provide the necessary financing of the activities for radioactive waste management for the entire period of operation of the Kozloduy NPP. The financial resources for conducting radioactive waste management are plan- ned annually and in midterm (3-year) plans. Now the regulations for the amount of the payments, collection, spending, and control of the money in the “Decom- missioning of nuclear facilities” and “Radioactive waste” funds have been actualized. There is control over the expenses – financial resources are spent only for reasonable purposes and according to the payments in the funds. At this moment the Kozloduy NPP is depositing to the two funds around 18% of the income from electricity sold, which is an exceptionally high percentage compared with other operators. According to the evaluation of foreign experts, the Bulgarian policy on this matter leads to a very high rate of accumulation of resources in the funds, and the percentage of payments is higher than all European countries.


All activities on the evaluation and justification of the safety of existing nuclear facilities were carried out in accordance with the plans presented and keeping in mind the requirements of the new Safe Use of Nuclear Energy Act 7 . In compliance with these requirements, an evaluation and licensing of all the operating units was carried out. Actualization of the existing safety analysis reports (SARs) for units 5 and 6 is being done in parallel with the imple- mentation of measures of the modernization program and will be completed in the middle of 2006. The SAR being developed will include a completely actualized list of postulated initiating events. It is being developed in accor- dance with the requirements of the national regulatory basis, the applicable Russian and American contemporary standards, as well as the IAEA guidelines. Regarding the probabilistic safety evaluation, at the moment the level 1 probabilistic safety assessment (PSA) for full power is being actualized, including analysis of internal initiating events; analysis of flooding risks; and,


fire hazards analysis. Another project concerning low power PSA development is being carried out in the framework of the modernization program. In the modernization process of units 5 and 6, each individual package of documents for changes in the design is presented to the NRA to grant per- mission for implementation together with the specific parts of the SAR con- cerning the affected equipment, systems, and components. In accordance with the aforementioned, preparation of the safety evaluation is assured as an element of the whole design process by the designer of the modernization program measure. In the process of reviewing these documents, the operator is supported by an independent team of engineering consultants and the NRA by Technical and Scientific Support Organizations (TSOs) experts of West European regulatory bodies by a special program financed under Poland and Hungary: assistance for restructuring their economies (PHARE) – a preaccession program of the EU to assist the applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The approach for carrying out the aforementioned activities, the individual steps and the organization, including the intense dialog between the regulator and the operator, were found adequate by a peer review of the EU Atomic Question Group 9 . It was ascertained that all necessary conditions for com- pletion of these activities within the planned deadlines are present and no monitoring on the implementation is required by the EU.



The following basic conclusions could be made as a result of this work:

1. In the Kozloduy NPP the main issues are solved in accordance with Bulgarian Legislation and international standards and the main goals are achieved to assure nuclear safety and radiation protection.

2. The radiation impact of Kozloduy NPP on the atmosphere, water, soil, plant, and animal world and protected territories, as well as the risk to the environment and the health of the population in the controlled zone are insignificant.

3. All recommendations related to the regulatory regime in Bulgaria were adequately addressed and no further monitoring of the regulatory system of Bulgaria by the EC is necessary.

4. There is no agreement on how the nuclear safety situation in the applicant countries should be assessed in connection with the EU enlargement. There- fore, operators and regulators of the applicant countries are now concerned that the new planned assessments will be a heavy burden to them.



5. Continuous interaction between researches and managers is important for addressing issues related to nuclear safety and efficiency.

6. Nuclear energy can be used to ensure energy security, without compro- mising environmental security.


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Gramatikov, P., 2002, Survey of the nuclear safety condition in Central/East European countries, in: Proceedings of International 4E Symposium on Energy, Ecology, Efficiency & Economy, Struga, FYRMacedonia, 3–4 October 2002, 1, pp. 87–96. Gramatikov, P., 2005, Regional stability and nuclear energetics safety’s management in Bulgaria, J. Energetic. Technol., Serbia, October 2005, 4, v. 2, pp. 3–8. IAEA, 1996, International Safety Standards /BSS/, Series-115, Vienna. IAEA, 2001, IAEA Report, Fundamental Principles of Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Facilities, Vienna. IRRT, 2003, International Regulatory Review Team (IRRT) Mission to Bulgaria, July 2003. Nuclear Regulatory Agency, 2003, National report on fulfilment of the obligations of the Republic of BULGARIA on the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, Sofia, April 2003. Available at: Peer Review on Nuclear Safety in Bulgaria, 2003, Sofia, 17–18 November 2003. Safe Use of Nuclear Energy Act, 2002, Sofia. Tarjanne, R., Luostarinen, K., 2004, Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), 6 April 2004, Finland.