Bulgaria to ship 20 tons spent nuclear fuel to Mayak plant

Publish date: May 19, 2003

On May 16th, a Bulgarian official confirmed a report that his country was negotiating to return 20 metric tons (22 U.S. tons) of spent nuclear fuel for recycling to Russia, BNN reported.

«The return of the spent nuclear fuel is in a process of licensing», Deputy Chairman of the Bulgarian Agency on Nuclear Regulation, Borislav Stanimirov, said to the BNN. «Bulgaria obviously has Russia’s consent to return that fuel», Stanimirov told the BNN. On April 30th, during a press conference in Chelyabinsk Vitaly Sadovnikiov, the General Director of Mayak plant, informed that they had reached a certain agreement with the Bulgaria regarding the shipments of spent nuclear fuel from Kozloduy nuclear plant. They expect the train with spent nuclear fuel to arrive at Mayak in June. As Nuclear.Ru was explained by Yevgeny Ryzhkov, the Mayak Public Information Group, «The train consists of 7-8 cars with 3 ton capacity each», said Ryzhkov adding that the expected 20 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel would not help to load fully RT-1 plant, which operates at 20-25% of its capacity (the plant design capacity if 400 metric tons a year). Besides, only a part of this fuel will go for reprocessing leaving the rest for a long-term storage. Three years are to pass before the reprocessing starts. «We have all legal grounds for this activity since the amendments were done to Article 50 of the Federal Law on Environmental Protection which allows import of spent nuclear fuel for storage and reprocessing», Ryzhkov underlined.