Bulgaria's Atomic Watchdog Issued Licence to Nuke Unit 4

Politics | February 27, 2003, Thursday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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The Nuclear Regulation Agency in Sofia issued ten-year licence to unit 4 of Bulgaria's only nuclear power plant - Kozloduy. According to Bulgaria's energy ministry, this move has constituted the safety of the controversial unit that the European Union wants closed much earlier.

The licence guarantees the reactor can pose no threat over all of the coming decade, an official from the ministry told the Bulgarian National Radio. However, he specified that the unit still could be shut down during the license period if it was proved dangerous. Thus the new license does not significantly improve the chances of Bulgaria in the negotiations that it holds with the European Union on the exploitation terms of Kozloduy's units 3 and 4.

Kozloduy management already approached Bulgaria's nuclear watchdog to issue similar license to unit 3 and later on to the most up-to-date reactors 5 and 6.

Most members of the European Union regard Bulgaria's Russian-type nuclear units 3 and 4 as potentially dangerous and want them shut down by 2006. The government in Sofia agreed to this deadline provided the EC dispatches a peer review. Bulgaria now hopes to re-negotiate the closure timetable if the results of the check prove favourable.

The country hopes for EU membership in 2007.
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