Bulgarian, US Governments sign strategic agreement on nuclear energy development in Bulgaria

Bulgaria's Energy Minister Rumen Radev and US Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs Andrew Light here on 12 February signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation on a project to build a nuclear capacity at the Kozloduy N-Plant site and a civilian nuclear programme in Bulgaria.

"With this agreement, Bulgaria gains significance for the entire region," Light said.

"We have signed an important international agreement that confirms the commitment of Bulgaria and the United States to a strategic nuclear partnership," Radev said following the signing ceremony.

He said that the Energy Ministry receives weekly reports on the progress of the projects for the construction of two new units at the Kozloduy N-Plant site and the project for Westinghouse-produced nuclear fuel on which an agreement has already been signed. "The financial framework for the construction of Units 7 and 8 at Kozloduy N-Plant should not exceed 14 billion," Radev said without specifying a currency. He said, however, that the euro-US dollar exchange rate is currently close to 1 to 1. The idea is to implement the project entirely on public funds with up to 25-30% self-financing. The rest is to be loan-financed for part of which State guarantees will be furnished.