Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear power plant said on Monday it has hired Westinghouse Electric Sweden to study options for licensing and integration of improved fuel for the plant's two operating units under a 3.1 million levs contract. The purpose of the contract is to comply with the Euratom Supply Agency's strategy for diversification of nuclear fuel supplies and ensuring their security, NPP Kozloduy said in a notice. Under the deal, Westinghouse Electric Sweden will be required to prepare a technical and economic justification for the use of an improved type of nuclear fuel at Kozloduy NPP two operating Russian-made units of 1000 MW each. The deal was signed on February 20. NPP Kozloduy said it has chosen to hold direct talks with Westinghouse Electric Sweden instead of launching a competitive public procurement procedure because the company is the only alternative supplier of nuclear fuel for the plant's reactors. Last year, the plant received approval from the Bulgarian nuclear regulatory agency for the continuous operation of its Unit 6 at increased thermal capacity of 104%.