Bulgarian Nationalist Backs Belene N-Plant Project
Krasimir Karakachanov, leader of Bulgaria's marginal nationalist party VMRO, has declared his party's support for the development of nuclear energy in the country through the construction of a nuclear power plant in the town of Belene.
Karakachanov has said that some 70% to 80% of those who will cast their ballots during the upcoming referendum on the fate of nuclear energy in Bulgaria will vote in favor of its development.
However, he doubts whether enough people would head to the polls for the referendum to be declared valid.
Karakachanov has stated that Bulgaria's two existing nuclear reactors will have to be closed between 2017 and 2019, forcing the country to import electricity from Romania and Turkey.
The referendum was initially triggered by the oppositional Bulgarian Socialist Party's desire to revive the abandoned Belene nuclear power plant project.
The pro-Belene party launched a petition for a referendum on the Russian-Bulgarian project's fate after the ruling centrist-right GERB scrapped the project in March. The original question of the petition was: "Should nuclear energy be developed in Bulgaria through the building of a Nuclear Plant at the Belene site?"
However, GERB's parliamentary majority decided to edit the question, removing any specific reference to the Belene project. The ruling party stated that a referendum on a particular project would be unconstitutional.
The referendum will take place on January 27.
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