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Bulgaria to transfer qualified laborers from Kozloduy NPP to Belene NPP

Date: 16.12.2008

Bulgaria is most likely going to transfer several hundred highly-qualified specialists from the Kozloduy NPP, its only nuclear plant at present, to the Belene Nuclear Power Plant, which is still under construction.

The news was reported Monday by the Pari Daily, which cites unnamed sources from Bulgaria's Ministry of Energy and Economy.

The nuclear engineers to be transferred from Kozloduy to Belene are still employed at the 440 MW Units 1-4 at the plant. The oldest Units 1 and 2 were stopped in 2002, and Units 3 and 4 were shut down in 2006 in accordance with an agreement that Bulgaria made with the EU during its accession negotiations.

This left the Kozloduy NPP with one two 1000 MW reactors - Units 5 and 5.

More than 1 000 nuclear specialists potentially unneeded nuclear specialists are employed at Kozloduy, according to data provided by the Member of Parliament from the rightist Democrats for Strong Bulgaria party Ivan Ivanov.

These persons are still employed at the Kozloduy plant as the process for putting out of exploitation of the first four units has not started yet, and the reactors are still filled with nuclear fuel.

Ivanov is quoted as saying these highly-skilled laborers should not be sacked and lost, especially as Bulgaria's second nuclear power plant at Belene was going to need at least 500 nuclear engineers at its launch.

The first unit of the Belene NPP is expected to start producing electricity in 2013-2014. The plant was started in the late 1980s but its construction was frozen after 1990, and was only reopened formally by the Prime Minister Stanishev in September 2008.

The actual construction works, however, are not starting until the spring of 2009. The Belene Plant is going to have at least two 1000 MW units.

Both the town of Kozloduy and the town of Belene are located on the Danube River.

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