Rosatom May Drop Bulgaria's Belene NPP - Report
Russian state energy company Rosatom may drop its project to build the Belene Nuclear Power Plant in Bulgaria, according to the French La Tribune daily.
Rosatom's subsidiary, Atomstroyexport, has advised it to withdraw from the project in a letter, the French paper states.
Asked by the Bulgarian Dnevnik daily, Rosatom representatives have refused to comment on the letter's contents, and are quoted saying that it is an interior document. However, the representatives have clarified that Rosatom has not decided to give up on Belene as of the current moment.
Earlier on Monday, Atomstroyexport sent a press release to the Bulgarian media, stating that the power plant will be built. As of now, the Bulgarian National Electric Company (NEK) and Atomstroyexport have signed 11 additional agreements on the construction of the plant after the initial document was signed on November 29 2006, but it is still unclear whether a new one will be signed in March.
According to Dnevnik, a Rosatom document states that the company will benefit with a EUR 200 M in compensation from the Bulgarian side if the project is to be dropped, while it will earn just EUR 150 M, should it materialize.
In November, shortly after a visit to Sofia by Russian PM Putin, Bulgaria's National Electric Company NEK and Russian state company Rosatom signed a memorandum providing for a final fixed price for the two reactors of EUR 6.298 B.
This sum is still not final since the document is not binding; a final binding agreement for the establishing of a joint company for Belene is expected to emerge in 4-5 months, according to Rosatom head Sergey Kirienko, who was in Sofia to sign the document.
The other non-binding documents on Belene signed at the same time provided for participation in the project of Finnish company Fortum with a share of 1%, and of French company Altran Technologies with a share of 1%-25%. NEK is to keep a majority share of 51%, while Rosatom is also expected to have a share of 25%.
Serbia has expressed interest in acquiring a share of 5%-10% but the talks for that have not been finalized yet.
During his visit to Sofia in November, Sergey Kiriyenko, CEO Rosatom admitted that Bulgaria and Russia had made a mistake by not specifying the exact raise of cost for the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant
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This is an excerpt:
Widespread use of the fast breeder reactor (FBR) could increase the utilization of uranium sixty-fold or more. This type of nuclear reactor can be started up on plutonium derived from conventional reactors and operated in closed circuit with its reprocessing plant. Such a reactor, supplied with natural uranium for its "fertile blanket", can be operated so that each tonne of ore yields 60 times more energy than in a conventional reactor.
Both US and China are talking about new nuclear technology that makes usage of nuclear fuel 60 times more efficient than current.
As such, would it be possible for BG to focus on such technology and retrofit existing facilities vs. building brand new ones?
What would be the cost advantages?
also look at the US' DOE website for more on this matter.