Contract on Kozloduy NPP Unit 7 May Harm Arbitration over Belene NPP
An energy expert has said that the agreement with US Westinghouse on Kozloduy NPP's unit7 erodes Bulgaria's position in the arbitration case with Atomstroyexport over Belene NPP.
Westinghouse Electric announced on Friday that it had completed a shareholder agreement for an AP1000 unit at the Kozloduy NPP.
In a Sunday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, Ivan Ivanov, a former MP from the right-wing party Democrats for Strong Bulgaria, claimed that one of the main arguments of Bulgaria for the suspension of the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant had been the forecast indicating that the country's power consumption rates did not necessitate new capacity.
Ivanov declared that the contract with Westinghouse suggested that the forecast had been wrong, stressing that Bulgaria could end up paying over EUR 1 B in damages to Russia.
He reminded that he had warned repeatedly that each and every statement and action of an official authority could be used by the claimant Atomstroyexport against Bulgaria.
Ivanov explained that Bulgaria's power consumption had dropped by 5% in 2013 on an annual basis, while the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) had predicted an annual decrease by 9% in 2014, and the World Bank had argued that Bulgaria was plagued by over-production of electricity and had to cut capacity.
He claimed that the decision of the outgoing socialist-led government on the contract with Westinghouse Electric had been the most scandalous move during its one-year term in office, adding that the agreement did not protect Bulgarian interests.
Ivanov called on the caretaker government and its successor to not endorse the agreement with the US company on a 7th unit of the Kozloduy NPP.
He also reminded that the Kozloduy NPP was seeking an extension of the lives of its units 5 and 6 by over 20 years, meaning that they would not be closed by 2022, which ran against a key argument of the government for the construction of the new reactor.
The energy expert also insisted that Bulgaria was violating EU requirements for the storage and burial of nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel, stressing that the country had taken no steps to secure it.
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