Bulgaria To Start Building Belene Nuke in 2009 - Official

Business | December 10, 2007, Monday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 3
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria To Start Building Belene Nuke in 2009 - Official Belene before construction works were frozen in early 1990s over environmental concerns and cost overruns. Photo by NEK.

Bulgaria will be able to start construction works on the planned Belene nuclear power plant no sooner than 2009, the head of the country's nuclear regulator said on Monday.

The regulator is yet to rule on the technical details of the project and the proposed safety measures, said Sergey Tsochev, who chairs Bulgaria's Nuclear Regulation Agency.

On Friday, the European Commission said it cleared Bulgaria's plans to build the plant at Belene on the Danube, using Russian reactors, but that is far from the final approval needed for it to go ahead, Tsochev added.

He is confident the project will not make Bulgaria dependent on Russian energy sources, even though a Russian company, Atomstroyexport, was picked to build the two 1000 MW third-generation reactors.

The Commission also stressed the need for diversified supply sources and plans for the long-term management of radioactive waste.

Bulgaria plans to retain control with 51% held by power grid operator NEK and the rest sold to a strategic investor, with Czech CEZ, German E.ON and RWE, Belgian Electrabel and Italy's Enel all vying for it.

With the European Commission giving its approval, Bulgaria can now apply for a government-underwritten EUR 300 M loan from the EU's Euratom agency.

The country also plans to borrow a similar amount from the European Investment Bank (EIB), while government officials have earlier claimed that they have already secured EUR 250 M in funding for the plant from BNP Paribas.

The total costs of the project are estimated at EUR 4 B.

Bulgaria decided to unfreeze its plans to build the plant in 2004, having mothballed them a decade and a half earlier, to compensate for shutting down four older Soviet reactors at its Kozloduy facility at the request of the EU, which the country joined in January.
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» To the forumComments (3)
#3
Jerry - 13 Dec 2007 // 14:30:21

Jan,

We need Greenpeace to instruct Bulgaria to open a NGO to fund a nuclear accident threat and to dump nuclear waste.

My fear that Bulgaria will sell this waste to undeveloped countries.

Watch out Africa!

#2
CJB - 11 Dec 2007 // 13:03:36

That's a nice gravy train for the construction companies with close connections to the government officials. In this respect the project is no different to any other in the "West". However I do not believe the French, Brits or Finns would build a nuke in an earthquake zone! That's a specifically Bulgarian variety of stupidity.

#1
Jan Haverkamp - Greenpeace - 11 Dec 2007 // 11:25:53

> The total costs of the project are estimated at EUR 4 B.

The cost for the contract with Atomstroyexport is set on 3,997 Billion EUR. Next to that, there is also money needed for infrastructure, temporary nuclear waste storage and organisation and capital costs. This brings the total budget according to NEK on around 7 Billion EUR.

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