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VARNA, Bulgaria, May 30 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia regards Bulgaria as one of important partners in the area of nuclear energy and is ready to discuss various ways of cooperation, Yuri Isakov, the Russian ambassador to Bulgaria, Wednesday told the international conference “Bulgarian nuclear energy -national, regional and world energy security” under way here.
“The stress tests made, also along the lines of the European Union, applying more stringent security demands against the background of the technogenic catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, showed that Russian reactors of ‘generation three plus’ meet all international security requirements. It was intended to install precisely such reactors at the Belene nuclear power plant. As is known, the Bulgarian government decided against participation in the project. Despite this, there are weighty reasons to consider Sofia as one of Moscow’s important partners in the area of nuclear energy,” Isakov said. “Thus, the Russian Lukoil company is engaged in technological ensurance of the operation of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant. Russia continues to supply nuclear fuel for the plant. Extending the operation of the 5th and 6th reactors of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant with the assistance of Russian specialists is another example of mutually advantageous cooperation. There are plans to build the 7th power unit at the plant with the use of a reactor that was meant for the Belene nuclear power plant. We believe that this is technologically feasible and we are ready to discuss various ways of the implementation of the project,” he said.
As to the Belene NPP, the Russian ambassador said the Bulgarian government’s decision “does not detract from the quality and importance of the project. It continues to exist and is the best of its kind.” “I am sure that it has a good future,” the diplomat said.
“Russian nuclear scientists work for several decades bearing the Chernobyl catastrophe in mind. After the catastrophe, huge funds were spent on modernization of all the nuclear power plants in the country. As a result of these efforts a unique Russian technology of passive security was created.
“Russia now has 21 contracts for the construction of nuclear power plants in various countries, including Belarus, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam and Turkey. None other country builds as many nuclear power plants,” the diplomat said.