EU to fund design of Bulgarian radioactive materials disposal site

SOFIA (SeeNews) – The European Union said yesterday it will call a tender for an up to 1-million-euro ($1.2 million) contract to design Bulgaria’s national disposal facility for radioactive waste. The project, which will support the program for the construction of the facility for low and intermediate level radioactive waste, includes design, site selection and safety assessment, the Tender Electronics Daily, a supplement to the EU’s Official Journal, reported. The project is funded under the EU’s preaccession program PHARE. Bulgaria, which hopes to join the EU in 2007, shut two of its aging 440-megawatt Soviet-era reactors at its sole nuclear power plant in Kozloduy in 2002 and has to decommission another two of the total six by the end of 2006 to address safety concerns voiced by the bloc. The provisional deadline for the tender is May 30 and the contract is to be awarded in August. The total annual turnover of candidates for each of the last two years should not be below 1.5 million euros. Applicants should have previous experience in site selection, design, development of safety assessment and analysis of radioactive waste repository facilities and at least two completed projects in these fields with a value of minimum 500,000 euros, each completed during the last five years. Bulgaria has a depot for radioactive waste, generated in clinical therapy and diagnosis, industry and research, in Novi Han, 35 kilometers southeast of the capital Sofia. There is also a storage site for nuclear waste at the Kozloduy plant.