On May 18, the first edition of National Innovation Contest I4N (Innovation for Nuclear) was held at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. The I4N Bulgaria event is part of the Innovation Contest I4N Europe of the European Nuclear Society Young Generation Network (ENS-YGN). This year Bulgaria will host the European final of the contest. On June 27 at National Center of Mechatronics and Clean Technologies at the Technical University of Sofia winners of the national competition will compete with finalists from 7 other European countries. The discussion panel before the presentation of the projects by the students was atended by Tsanko Bachiyski, Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRA), Petyo Ivanov, CEO of “Kozloduy NPP – New Builds”, Assoc. Prof. Todor Yalamov, Vice Dean for Research, Innovation, and Projects at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Lyuben Marinov, Head of Development and analysis of new projects at Kozloduy NPP, Assoc. Prof. PhD Denitza Zgureva, Director of the Technical College – Sofia and Borislav Boev, PhD, representative of the National Committee of Bulgaria at the World Energy Council. The focus of the discussion was the topic of innovations in the nuclear sector – their place in the existing regulatory model, their role in the fight against climate change and the socio-economic aspects of the implementation of innovative technical solutions and practices. Within the discussion, the need for workforce in the nuclear sector was also considered, with an emphasis on the barriers and challenges for young people to develop innovation and entrepreneurship in the sector.

The Centre of Nuclear Competencies Kozloduy is a partner of the event and was part of competition jury. All participants in the competition presented innovative projects on key topics, in particular the integration of small modular reactors into the nuclear fuel cycle, disposal of spent nuclear fuel and usage of alternative materials for fuel elements cladding. First place was awarded to the team of Alexander Georgiev, Vladislav Shabanski and Kaloyan Botev, who presented a project on “Final Storage for Spent Nuclear Fuel from Units 5 and 6 of Kozloduy NPP”.