Nuclear Plant Staff Training Urgent

A total of 529 workers will need to be employed once Bulgaria's second nuclear power plant (NPP) is completed near the Danube at Belene in 2013, project head Yordan Georgiev said at a news conference on Monday, BTA is reporting. Since the complete education and training of plant personnel takes 4-5 years, this will need to begin as early as 2008, Bulgarian Atomic Forum chairman Bogomil Manchev said.

The Belene NPP project is important from an economic, ecological and social point of view, and it is also the country's most important investment project. Every effort will be made to provide education and training to specialists at the plant, Economy and Energy Minister Peter Dimitrov said. Special attention will be given to the sixty personnel who will be directly responsible for plant safety, said Alexandr Trufanov, engineer at the Atomtehnenergo training facility in
Novovoronezh, Russia.

The company executing the project, Atomstroyexport, are under obligation to train up the personnel, which they will do to the highest international requirements. By 2013, personnel will need to be trained up in 271 different positions, which means that that many separate training programmes will need to be set up.

The number of staff at the Kozloduy NPP - currently Bulgaria's only NPP, also on the Danube - has fallen drastically since EU pressure forced four of the plant's six reactors to shut down, Kozloduy director of production Alexander Nikolov said.

Meanwhile, Dimitrov gave a two-month deadline for the preparation and submission of final offers for public-private partnerships in staff training programmes for the Belene NPP.

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