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Bulgaria to seek Toshiba investment in building new reactor

Thu, 12/12/2013 - 11:08am
The Associated Press

In this Nov. 7, 2013 file photo, members of the media and Tokyo Electric Power Co. employees wearing protective suits and masks walk down the steps of a fuel handling machine after looking at the spent fuel pool inside the building housing the Unit 4 reactor at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. Workers will begin removing radioactive fuel rods Monday from one of four reactors at the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The painstaking and risky task is a crucial first step toward a full cleanup of the earthquake and tsunami-damaged plant in northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tomohiro Ohsumi, File)VIENNA, Dec. 12 (Kyodo) — Bulgaria's state-owned energy company will negotiate with Japan's Toshiba Corp. for investment in building a new reactor at the country's only nuclear power plant, according to local media.

Under a government-approved plan, Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD will ask the Japanese heavy machinery maker to provide up to 30 percent of the funding for the project at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant in the country's north, the Bulgarian News Agency said.

Toshiba's U.S. affiliate Westinghouse Electric Co. signed a memorandum in 2011 with the Bulgarian firm to cooperate in extending the life of the plant's Nos. 5 and 6 reactors and decontaminating and decommissioning its Nos. 1 to 4 reactors, which had already halted operations. It has also shown interest in accepting the order for building the new reactor.

The new reactor will be a pressurized water reactor built using Westinghouse's "AP1000" technology, the report said.

Bulgaria will also seek investment from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Export-Import Bank of the United States, with Economy and Energy Minister Dragomir Stoynev in charge of negotiations with an eye to reaching an agreement by 2014, it said.

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