It is maybe good to add, that Bulgarian electricity exports continued to grow after Kozloduy 3 and 4 were closed down. Currently, Bulgaria nett exports around 10 TWh/yr (so twice the amount in 2003) and is with that the second largest electricity exporter in Central Europe (after the Czech Republic).
It also has to be remarked that this has a price: Bulgaria has - like no-one else world wide - any solution for the radioactive waste it produces in Kozloduy. Direct health effects around its huge coal power stations in Maritza Iztok are considerable. And it makes Bulgaria one of the top CO2 emitters per unit GDP in Europe.
Belene is not necessary, nor is Kozloduy 7. What is necessary is a carefully worked out policy to bring Bulgaria in the 21st century concerning energy generation and use. The future is not in nuclear, nor in coal, not even (on a longer term) gas, but in efficient use and clean and renewable sources.
@Ivanko. It is a pity that the referendum debate did not spent much time on facts. It is important that Bulgarians participate in a discourse on the energy future of the country.
1. Nuclear power is not cheap. Belene would generate electricity prices that are well over twice your current market price. If it would be subsidised even further, you'd pay the difference over your taxes.
2. Greenpeace promotes clean and sustainable energy policies. We need to move away from dangerous sources like nuclear and climate heating sources like coal, oil and gas. Greenpeace has many times provided proposals how Europe, and Bulgaria, can move to a clean, affordable and sustainable energy future. Such proposals were not part of the referendum debate, because strange election committee rules prevented us (yes, we are a also a registered Bulgarian NGO) and other Bulgarian NGOs to get any media attention.
3. The Energy [R]evolution Scenario of Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council, made by the German Institute for Aeronautics and Space - the largest energy modelling institute in Europe - and Ecofys - one of Europe's leading energy efficiency consultancies - shows that on the middle and long term, policies orienting towards efficiency and renewable energy use are cheaper than business as usual scenarios that include nuclear energy. That is also the reason why Germany has chosen that way. On top of that, they create slightly more jobs and the same economic growth figures.
Greenpeace cares - it cares for the planet, it cares for those who are worse of than others on that planet. It also cares a lot for Bulgaria, where our still young Bulgarian office has been actively discussing with people over the last weeks how Belene is dangerous, expensive and supports corruption.
Nationalism is the worst of arguments in the energy debate. Energy is per definition a trans-national issue and nuclear energy certainly. If Belene would be built and something goes badly wrong with it, even I in Poland or the Czech Republic will be heavily impacted. Or of course when I happen to be on one of my frequent visits to Bulgaria or Romania. I did not have a vote in the referendum. You were also voting for all those people outside of Bulgaria.
Are you sure that the people who gave you the arguments you used in your reaction are focused on the well-being of Bulgarians and Bulgaria? Or of Burglaria - the burglars in the country?
It is maybe fair to notice that the BSP may claim to have gathered 770 000 signatures, but that the Central Election Commission found a third of them (230 000) invalid.
Numbers speak for themselves: the Bulgarian population has dismissed Belene by massively staying home.
Eh... That should be a hydro power plant or HPP... A thermal power plant is powered by gas, oil or coal. This power plant is powered by water.
The signature action is organised by BSP in the run-up to the parliamentarian elections. Witness statements from Northern Bulgaria speak of people asking to sign for sustainable energy and cheap energy... of pressure, of false promises...
The question is what BSP wants with this.
Even 8 Million signatures are not going to change the price tag of the Belene project, and that price tag is certainly not going to do anything to lower energy prices. Nor will it take away the seismic risk in the area, nor will it improve the troublesome safety culture in both Russian Rosatom and the Bulgarian nuclear sector.
Only an intelligent energy policy can keep energy affordable - it starts with wasting less... intelligent use of feed-in tariffs to gradually develop a strong infrastructure for renewable sources near where the demand is... and banning corruption from the energy sector...
Pity that Sofia News Agency did not report that there was also an anti-Belene demonstration taking place on the same time on the same spot... They claim they were with more people than the flash-mob. I was not there, I cannot judge that, but had expected to hear that from the media. The number of flash-mob participants seems on the high side from the reports of people at the spot that I have heard...
A nuclear accident does not happen because of all that is OK. It happens because of what is not OK. The remark that the EU stress test peer-review report "concludes that the Kozloduy NPP meets safety standards to a large extent." should be a clear warning. 'To a large extent' means not completely. And that is only from a study that looked into a limited amount of events, had a very limited time, and was largely carried out by the power plant operator. Besides that a lot more huge questions remain unaddressed: ageing problems, (common cause) multi-reactor failure, terrorist attack and sabotage, to name a few.
The Bulgarian stress tests indeed showed sufficient flaws for Kozloduy to be worried. The most striking is probably the low level of safety culture that continues to focus on what functions and closes its eyes for what may not function. Remember the 2006 regulation rod incident!
If Fukushima taught us one lesson, it is that we should think the unthinkable. Neither the Kozloduy operator, nor the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency, nor some of the peer-reviewers appeared to be able or willing to do so.
There is only one safe way out: Bulgaria should follow the lead of Germany, Switzerland and Belgium and prepare a nuclear phase-out strategy based on an increase in energy efficiency and use of safe, reliable and clean renewable energy sources. That may not be so spectacular as a big dangerous machine, it may not deliver so much opportunities for large "commission payments", but it would create a country worth living in, jobs, and save a lot of money.
Kozloduy lifetime extension is unnecessary and risky.
Mr. Borisov - I challenge you to finally take the invitation from mayors from North Bulgaria to talk with them about Belene. They have invited you several times, but you have refused to meet them. From the 14 municipalities around Belene, 13 - all with the exception of the town of Belene itself - oppose the project because it will not be sufficiently beneficial to the region.
The region has high potential for clean energy sources - not only wind and solar, but also biomass development. A well functioning feed-in tariff as we see it in Germany and Spain - a tariff that kick-starts development and then is progressively phased out - does not lead to speculation nor to enormous costs, but will give Northern Bulgaria development *now* - and not in 2017 or 2020 or whenever Belene theoretically would be able to deliver electricity.
The longer it takes before the final out of the Belene project is decided, the longer investors will be waiting with investing in alternatives. That is the reality.
I hope HSBC will keep its promise of objectivity concerning costs and investment risks and will be able to give you the arguments to end Belene once and for all with minimum compensation to be paid.
Northern Bulgaria deserves a future. Not a an bottomless black carp-hole for capital. It needs sustainable jobs, not just a few to serve those that will come from outside to construct the nuclear power plant...
I wish you open ears and wisdom in your decisions,
If the socialists would learn to communicate in a halfway understandable way, we could maybe have an interesting scandal here. Now i really don't understand a single iota of it....
Interesting questions (that should have been asked by the journalist... maybe some journalist could ask them now?):
1. To the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency: Is it true that the current problems with the cracked regulation rods stem from early this year?
2. Did have operation with cracked regulation rod tops have consequences for the safe operation of Kozloduy?
3. What is the opinion of the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency in this matter?
4. To the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism, to Kozloduy management, to BNRA: Who was silent about this? Kozloduy management or the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Toursim?
5. The case of the payment of 24 Million by (one of) the former cabinet(s) was done for what? For how many new regulation rods after the INES 2 incident? Or was that for one new full set of regulation rods? Or for two reactors? Did it include rod-leaders and other necessary equipment or only the rods?
6. What the hell caused the cracking of the rods? Wrong material? In that case, why had the current government to pay 240 000 BGN - shouldn't that fall under guarantee conditions?
7. Can we trust Bulgarian and Russian nuclear companies and engineers?
8. Given his track record as Minister, what is the evidence on which we can now trust Dimitrov?
Maybe interesting to remember, that these are the same control rod systems that had an INES 2 problem back in 2006, when a third of the control rods could not automatically fall down. They were installed after an "upgrade" carried out by Hydropress. The new control rod system now has cracks at the top for almost half of the rods and a new system had to be flown in.
All this should be a warning for the quality of work delivered by Rosatom... Not only for Kozloduy, but also if anyone pleads for Belene to be constructed.
Bulgaria does not need nuclear power - it needs to adapt its grid to the large uptake of renewable sources like wind, solar, geothermal, biogas and solid biomass and micro-generation (hydro, wind, solar)... It needs to invest in energy efficiency...
50% more Chinese Tourists in Bulgaria
Potentially Defective Aluminum was used by All Car Manufacturers in Japan