Nuclear Energy vs. Nuclear Energy
Some media outlets in Bulgaria stated Monday that approximately 60% of Bulgarians voted in favor of the development of nuclear energy in the country.
These headlines prove the need to reiterate the question, since many seem to have misunderstood it. Here it goes:
"Should we develop nuclear energy in Bulgaria by building a new nuclear power plant?"
It was never about whether Bulgarians were in favor of nuclear energy per se, it was about the construction of a new power plant (which is to say, the Belene project).
It is a well-known fact that both major Bulgarian parties – centrist-right GERB and left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party – are in favor of the construction of new nuclear units, with GERB backing the further development of the existing Kozloduy power plant, while BSP has fervently declared its support for Belene.
It is the upcoming general elections that will decide the winning project.
Both referendums and elections have been mentioned so far – but there is another mechanism of democracy: protests. If politicians end up picking a project that puts Bulgaria's people, nature and finances in jeopardy, they will be reminded of that.