Sofia Set to Build Belene N-plant

Politics | September 30, 2003, Tuesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria should build its second nuclear power plant in the town of Belene, regardless of the decision for the decommissioning of Kozloduy nuclear power plant units 3 and 4, Energy Minister Milko Kovachev and chairman of the parliamentary energy commission Vesselin Bliznakov agreed at a seminar on Belene project on Tuesday. In the opinion of Bliznakov the first nuke unit of the nuclear power plant might be put into operation in 2009. The competition for investor and executor of nuclear plant Belene will be invited in the first half of 2004.

At the end of December last year Bulgaria's Cabinet lifted the ban on the completion of Bulgaria's second nuclear plant. The project for its construction was shelved in 1992 after pressure from environmentalists. Later commitments for the early closure of Kozloduy small units were cited as arguments for the un-freezing Belene project.

Energy Minister Kovachev added Bulgaria would choose a technology whose efficiency has already been proven, to be in the next 40 years. Talking to the Bulgarian National radio Minister Kovachev set 2015 as a realistic deadline for the start of Belene operations.

The Bulgarian government has agreed to close the two 440-megawatt units by 2006 under pressure from the EU. The closure of the two oldest units at the end of last year came after many years of concern over their safety, strong pressure from the European Union, protests from the nuclear lobby and opposition parties that the reactors are economically necessary.
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