Norwegian Cooperation Programme with Bulgaria

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Published 01.10.2014

Keywords: International cooperation

The Norwegian Cooperation Programme with Bulgaria was completed in 2011.

Programme Promoter:

Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (BNRA)

Main Programme Partner:

Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA)

Other partners:

Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Total programme cost:

 € 1.294.117

Programme organisation and timeline:

All programme activities are organised under an IAEA Extra Budgetary Programme (EBP) and are expected to be completed by 30.04.2011.

Background:

The Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (BNRA) and the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) have agreed to fund an IAEA Extra Budgetary Programme (EBP) on safe nuclear energy in Bulgaria. The programme aims to reduce the risk of nuclear accidents and improve preparedness and response of emergency organizations and personnel in Bulgaria. The programme is analogous to the programme on Safe Nuclear Energy in Romania, though smaller in scope and with technical differences due to distinction in the type of nuclear power plants.

85 % of the programme funds come from a grant from Innovation Norway (project: 2008/115264) on behalf of the Norwegian Government on the basis of an application from BNRA, the project promoter, and NRPA, the project partner. The rest of 15 % of the programme funds come from Bulgaria in form of financial contributions.

The programme consists of four projects that address the enhancement needs of the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency and of the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant regarding safety related activities. Improvements will be done mainly in two focus areas: safety assessment, and emergency preparedness and response.

Specific objectives:

On the regulator side the programme aims to:

  • Assess safety culture methodology framework
  • Conduct a workshop on safety culture assessment techniques
  • Develop a safety culture methodology
  • Train BNRA staff on safety culture methodology
  • Conduct a Safety Culture Assessment Review Team (SCART) mission, develop recommendations and regulatory action plan based on SCART evaluation
  • Complete an assessment of and prepare a baseline report on the EPR arrangements in Bulgaria
  • Conduct an Expert Mission on emergency callout and coordination
  • Conduct a training on international emergency response
  • Develop a plan for emergency response exercise
  • Conduct an international emergency response exercise

On the nuclear power plant operator side the programme intends to:

  • Assess safety culture at KNPP
  • Conduct a workshop on safety culture assessment indicators
  • Prepare a safety culture implementation guide
  • Develop a safety culture self-assessment guide
  • Develop a safety culture implementation plan for corrective actions
  • Conduct a Safety Culture Assessment Review Team (SCART) mission and implement recommendations from that mission
  • Assess EPR arrangements at KNPP and prepare a baseline report
  • Conduct an Expert Mission to identify possible scenarios and vulnerable areas at KNPP
  • Conduct an international emergency response exercise

NRPA role in the programme:

As main partner in the programme, NRPA assists BNRA, the project promoter, in fulfilling the implementation of the programme. NRPA participates in the management of the programme. NRPA also assist with legal issues related to the programme, including establishing relevant agreements between all organizations involved in the programme, working out solutions to fulfil programme funder’s requirements, while maintaining all organisations’ internal policies and procedures. Furthermore, NRPA continually assesses the programme goals and objectives against programme indicators.

NRPA manages the programme financial account and transfers funds to the programme partners. NRPA organizes programme’s external audits and assist to the programme participants in communication with Innovation Norway.

Important programme events:

  • First kick off meeting was held at BNRA in Sofia on 19-20 January 2010.
  • First meeting of joint Romanian-Bulgarian EPR exercise planning group was held at BNRA in Sofia on 9-10 March 2010. Joint
  • Romanian-Bulgarian exercise is planned to be conducted in April 2011.
  • First external audit of the programme was conducted by KPMG on 16 April 2010.
  • IAEA expert mission on evaluation of the accident reporting system was held at BNRA in Sofia 19-23 April 2010.