Ageing Soviet reactors scrapped in Bulgaria

时间:2019-03-03 06:07:01166网络整理admin

By VERA RICH Bulgaria has agreed to scrap its two oldest nuclear reactors, at Kozloduy on the Danube, following damning reports by survey teams from the International Atomic Energy Agency. But two other reactors on the site, also criticised by the IAEA, will stay in operation. A fifth reactor on the site passed inspection and a new reactor, the sixth, reached 50 per cent capacity earlier this month. All six reactors at Kozloduy are Soviet-designed VVER pressurised water units. After the accident at Chernobyl, Soviet nuclear experts publicly stressed that this design was considerably safer than the RBMK reactor, which exploded in 1986. Nevertheless, throughout the former Eastern bloc, there was a general overhaul of safety techniques for reactors of both types. By 1987, the four reactors then in operation at Kozloduy had been updated, and improvements incorporated into the two 1000-megawatt units under construction. Nevertheless, a series of inspections by IAEA teams in 1990 and early 1991 revealed grave deficiencies in emergency equipment and training. The two oldest 440-megawatt reactors caused particular concern, and the IAEA team argued that they should be closed. Sofia agreed. But the second set of 440-megawatt reactors, numbers three and four, which also failed to meet IAEA standards, will stay in operation. The alternative, the Bulgarians say, would be a winter of massive power cuts, with industry at a standstill and a heavy toll in life and health. Instead, a high-speed modernisation and safety training programme has been launched, supervised and partially funded by the European Community. Like other former Eastern bloc countries,