Westinghouse and Bulgaria take steps toward nuclear reactor construction

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Bulgaria and Westinghouse Electric Co. have signed a preliminary agreement on the potential construction of an AP1000 unit at the only nuclear plant in the Balkan country, which relies heavily on Russia for its energy supplies.

Under Thursday’s deal, Westinghouse will conduct an assessment of the technical, financial and economic parameters of the project over the next nine months.

Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said that he hopes construction can begin by 2016.

Last year, Bulgaria scrapped plans to build a second 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant on the Danube River with the Russian company Atomstroyexport.

The Kozloduy plant currently has two 1,000-megawatt units of the Russian VVER type in operation.