Bulgaria's Belene Prays for 'Yes' on Nuclear Referendum

January 12, 2013, Saturday // 11:17
Bulgaria's Belene Prays for 'Yes' on Nuclear Energy Referendum: Bulgaria's Belene Prays for 'Yes' on Nuclear Referendum
A prayer for prosperity is held Saturday in Bulgaria's Danube town of Belene. File photo

A prayer for prosperity and for the success of the forthcoming national referendum on the future of nuclear energy in Bulgaria will be served in the Danube town of Belene Saturday.

The Veliko Tarnovo Bishop, Grigoriy, will lead the prayer. The mass is organized jointly by the Town Hall and the local temple.

The service will be followed by a meeting and a concert at the central square dedicated to the referendum's success.

The Mayor of Belene, Petar Dulev, says the majority of locals hope the referendum's outcome will lead to the revival of the project to build a second Nuclear Power Plant in their town.

According to the Mayor, the NPP is a "strategic and infrastructure facility, with a construction permit from the European Union, and is vital for the advancement not only of Belene, but the Pleven Region, northern Bulgaria, and the entire country.

In April 2012, Belene residents rallied against the halting of the NPP project on grounds it would provide new job openings for the region and would boast its economic development.

On January 27, 2013, Bulgarians will have to answer in the referendum the following question: "Should nuclear energy be developed in Bulgaria through the construction of new nuclear power units?"

Originally, Belene NPP had to be built by Russian state company Atomstroyexport, but the Bulgarian cabinet froze the project in the early spring of 2012 due to perceived lack of economic effectiveness.

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