George Kirkov, who took over the leadership of Bulgaria’s only nuclear power plant a few days ago, has an impressive 37 years of experience at the Kozloduy NPP. His professional path at the plant began in 1982 and until 2019 he passed on his expertise to at least two generations of energy workers. Due to Kirkov’s undeniable professionalism and proven responsibility, over the years he has been entrusted with a number of key management positions requiring specific knowledge, skills, experience and workaholism. Starting as the Head of the “Electric Workshop” shift, passing through the Head of the “Repair” Department, the “Trade” Department, the “Investment” Department, he reached the position of Director of the “Economy and Finance” Directorate, which he managed successfully.
In the headquarters they say that Kirkov is one of the highly respected personalities in the nuclear sector, his trademark is the calm and dialogical style of work, the delicacy in the relations with each and every employee, his leadership skills and his responsible attitude towards work processes. In 2017, Georgi Kirkov was awarded the “Energetic of the Year” award. Since March 2020, Kirkov is the deputy. mayor of Kozloduy municipality. He is known among the public as a professional with experience and authority. The new executive director of the Kozloduy NPP has two higher educations – “Electric Power Engineering and Power Plants” – VMEI, Sofia and “Commercial Activity Management”, Economic Academy “Dimitar Tsenov”, Svishtov.
And another “Energyman of the Year” stands at the head of the nuclear power plant. This is the new deputy executive director Andrei Krasnocharov.
For 30 years now, he has been dedicated to the Kozloduy NPP, bearing exceptional responsibility, leading units for repair, operation and modernization of the nuclear units. Krasnocharov has held various responsible positions at the plant – reactor control engineer, reactor workshop energy engineer, reactor equipment operation technologist, Chief expert, head of the “Engineering” sector, head of the “Modernization” department, chief mechanic, head of the “Repair” department , Head of “Engineering Assurance” Department.
Georgi Kirkov and Andrey Krasnocharov are energy experts and professionals in the true sense of the word – this is what Kozloduy NPP shares about the new bosses. “It is extremely easy to work with Georgi Kirkov and Andrey Krasnocharov, because they understand each other’s work. Andrey Krasnocharov knows every corner, every pipeline, facility or piece of equipment, and Georgi Kirkov is an undisputed authority and leader. Andrey Krasnocharov is a boss, respected and valued by his team.” In the large family of the NPP, they are convinced that Kirkov, with his diplomacy and dialogue, will ensure the necessary peace of mind, and Krasnocharov will always be on the front line, for help and with valuable advice, side by side with his people.
And here is the opinion of proven experts and iconic names in the energy industry about the new management team of the Kozloduy NPP:
Tsanko Bachiiski – chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, participated in the commissioning of units 5 and 6 of the Kozloduy NPP, was a technologist, deputy head of the workshop, head of the “Turbine equipment” sector, head of the “Repair” department and chief engineer of the 5th and 6th blocks, he was also deputy executive director of Kozloduy NPP EAD:
I have known Kirkov and Krasnocharov for over 25 years. Andrey Krasnocharov is an extremely capable, competent engineer, he can handle any situation and, what is particularly important, he works very well with people, creates teams, he can be relied on. A born leader. Georgi Kirkov is also an undisputed professional. I give them all my credit of trust because I have no doubts about their professional integrity and high safety culture – mandatory factors for nuclear power plant managers. Safety and security are very important to me as the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency. About Kirkov and Krasnocharov, I can be sure that they will never put production and profits before the safety and security of both the plant and the entire country, so I have full confidence in them.
Ivan Hinovski – chairman of the Bulgarian Energy and Mining Forum, former member of the state commissioning commission of the Kozloduy NPP, former director of the nuclear directorate at Energoproekt, former executive director of NEK, former deputy chairman of the Board of the Kozloduy NPP, consultant to global companies such as “Westinghouse”, “Siemens”, “Framatom”, “Gas de France” and EBRD:
Kirkov and Krasnocharov are a very well-chosen team. I know both of them well, excellent professionals. I have known Georgi Kirkov for over 30 years and I categorically claim that he is much better than the previous heads of the plant. In fact, I think that at this point one can hardly name another more suitable CEO. Kirkov understands everything – both technology and finance, he was already the head of these units. The previous leadership completely neglected the introduction of new nuclear power – something that is extremely necessary for Bulgaria and is a topic on which Georgi Kirkov is fully prepared. I believe that the campaign in defense of the current bosses is related to the reluctance of a certain status quo to lose significant financial income. Because in the headquarters there are so many – I will use a slang word – “pinis”, so many tricks, in supplies, in repairs, in commercial activity, that apparently some do not want to spoil existing schemes. No less important is the fact that now, when Rosatom is under sanctions, a person with a lot of professionalism, fine sense, diplomacy and wide international contacts is needed as a leader. All qualities that Georgi Kirkov possesses, in contrast to his predecessors of yesterday.
Yavor Kuyumzhdiev – politician, MP, former deputy. Minister of Energy, Associate Director, AT KEARNEY – a leading global management consultancy; participates in the management of energy projects in Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, etc., Central and Eastern Europe, Group Manager Global Travel sro:
Let’s give 100 days to the new management of Kozloduy NPP. In any case, Georgi Kirkov and Andrey Krasnocharov are better than the previous bosses. Until recently, the Kozloduy NPP was the First PRIVATE nuclear power plant. This is unacceptable.
Anton Ivanov – founder and first executive director of the State Enterprise “Radioactive Waste” (DP RAO), former chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kozloduy NPP:
I know Georgi Kirkov who gives a lot, he has gone through the entire production cycle at the plant, he has a broad professional view of the place of the Kozloduy NPP in the national economy. A fully prepared person to head a company of this scale. Andrey Krasnocharov also knows very well the processes at the headquarters, especially the Fifth and Sixth blocks. I am sure that the two of them are a good team that will contribute to the excellent work of the Kozloduy NPP. The opponents of the new management have no reason to grumble against the change of the previous bosses Mihov and Nikolov, especially with the argument that Kozloduy NPP generated record profits under their leadership. These profits are opportunistic, as a result of market processes and high electricity prices, and there is no reason to claim that the income and profit are the merit of the already changed managers. Rather, it should not be forgotten that, despite an attempt to cover up, incidents such as the fire in Block Five have become public knowledge for the general public, and this is very worrying for the security of a plant and the way it is managed.