Bulgaria Scrapped Belene N-Plant for Political Reasons, Russia Says

Business » ENERGY | April 24, 2012, Tuesday // 14:45| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria Scrapped Belene N-Plant for Political Reasons, Russia Says File photo of Rosatom head Sergey Kiriyenko by EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria's decision to abandon the Belene Nuclear Power Plant project was political and not due to technical or economical reasons, according to Sergey Kiriyenko, head of Russia's state-owned Rosatom energy company.

"We were ready to carry out the contract's requirements; we were ready to hear the Bulgarian government's decision. Most of Belene's equipment is ready now, the rest is being worked on. Contracts have been signed with the plants," Kiriyenko has commented, as cited by ITAR-TASS.

The Rosatom head has pointed out that Bulgaria will either have to pay approximately EUR 1 B for the nuclear equipment or terminate the contract and pay compensations.

According to Kiriyenko, the Bulgarian government is not quite aware of what it means to move the reactor initially meant for Belene to the existing Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant instead. He believes that process would take 5 to 7 years.

After almost three years of balking at it, the Borisov Cabinet abandoned the NPP project in March 2012, declaring it to be "economically unfeasible". The plant was supposed to be built by Russian company Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Rosatom.

The construction of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant would have cost EUR 10.35 B in the best case scenario, according to the estimates of Bulgarian government's consultant for the project, the HSBC bank.

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Tags: Belene, Nuclear Power Plant, Russia, Rosatom, Sergey Kiriyenko, HSBC, Kozloduy, nuclear energy
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