Bulgaria's Belene NPP Unit Is No Carry-Around Plastic Barrel - Ex Energy Minister
Petar Dimitrov, left-wing MP and former Economy and Energy Minister, has suggested that the idea to move the almost-completed reactor at the Belene NPP to the Kozloduy NPP will take years to implement and will obviously not happen.
In an interview for Darik radio on Tuesday, he explained that the biggest concern was that Bulgaria was running the risk of losing Russia's support on the issue of extending the life of Units 5 and 6 of the Kozloduy NPP due to the lack of a clear stance on the Belene NPP project.
"What I last heard from the Prime Minister was that it will not happen. From what I heard this reactor, which he called "a plastic barrel", will be taken from the Belene NPP and moved to the Kozloduy NPP," Dimitrov noted.
He further noted that installing a seventh nuclear reactor to the Kozloduy NPP would take 13-14 years "in Bulgarian circumstances."
Dimitrov stressed that a seismic environment analysis had to be conducted in order to build a seventh unit at Kozloduy NPP and that a number of new permits had to be obtained.
"This will obviously not happen", the former Economy and Energy Minister added.
He cautioned that the exploitation deadlines of Units 5 and 6 of the Kozloduy NPP were expiring in 2017 and 2019.
Asked if Bulgaria was not running behind schedule with the activities surrounding the extension of the life of Units 5 and 6 of the Kozloduy NPP, Dimitrov argued that there hardly any sense in rushing things because "the permission depends on Russia in any case and our current relations are the same as they were during the Ottoman rule."
The left-wing MP reminded that Prime Minister Borisov had been straightforwardly asked by Vladimir Putin about Bulgaria's commitment to the Belene NPP three years ago.
"To keep the fire burning, assuming that Bulgaria is likely to implement the project, they kept pouring money into the project. Now, three years later, we are telling them that the best option is to move it to the Kozloduy NPP. Those in power should have opted for the relocation immediately," he commented.
"These are political decisions that were most probably imposed as a result of external pressure. Tell that to Russia, instead of messing around with them. If we mess around with Russia, we cannot expect a benevolent attitude in return both on the gas supply contracts and the Kozloduy NPP," the socialist MP stated.
He noted that it was irresponsible to imply that Bulgaria could sell the almost-completed reactor at Belene NPP.
Dimitrov warned that Bulgaria would be made to suffer both the financial and the political repercussions of a decision to pull out of the project.
The former Economy and Energy Minister suggested that Russia would most likely look for a new buyer for the reactor if Bulgaria decided to withdraw.
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