Bulgarian Socialists Push for Construction of Belene N-Plant
Bulgaria’s ruling socialist party has once again spoken in favor of the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant project.
“The Bulgarian Socialist Party has an unanimous stance on Belene – and it is that Belene is necessary for Bulgaria,” BSP lawmaker Tasko Ermenkov told the Bulgarian National Television on Tuesday.
Bulgaria's formerly-ruling center-right GERB government scrapped the Belene project in March 2012, declaring it economically unfeasible.
The pro-Kremlin BSP then launched a petition for a referendum on the Russian-Bulgarian project. The referendum took place on January 27, 2013. As the voter turnout slightly exceeded 20%. 61% of the voters said "yes" to the construction of a new NPP; 39% cast a "no" ballot.
On February 27, 2013, Bulgaria's Parliament confirmed the country's decision to abandon the Belene NPP project.
As soon as he was sworn-in, Bulgaria's new Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, elected on the Socialist mandate, hinted that the Belene NPP project may be revived.
After it was first started in the 1980s, the construction of Bulgaria's second nuclear power plant at Belene on the Danube was stopped in the early 1990s over lack of money and environmental protests.
After selecting the Russian company Atomstroyexport to build a two 1000-MW reactors at Belene and signing a deal for the construction, allegedly for the price of EUR 3.997 B, with the Russians during Putin's visit to Sofia in January 2008, in September 2008, former Prime Minister Stanishev gave a formal restart of the building of Belene. At the end of 2008, German energy giant RWE was selected as a strategic foreign investor for the plant.
The Belene NPP has been de facto frozen since the fall of 2009 when RWE, which was supposed to provide EUR 2 B in exchange for a 49% stake, pulled out. Shortly afterwards BNP Paribas SA, France's largest bank by market value, which was hired by the previous Socialist government to help fund the construction of Belene, ditched the project in February 2010.
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one of the best things left over from communism here in BG is the excellent small hydro plants in the mountains - clean, renewable, and barring a huge drought (in which case there's more to worry about than just a bit of a lack of electric), pretty damn reliable.
you wouldn't be able to power large cities, but a few more of these plants dotted around would be good for the smaller towns and villages near the mountains.
It would be a good start.
He is right, but only if you accept that Bulgaria will be reliant upon fossil fuels from unstable regions and unreliable partners. The costs will be unpredictable and the poor will fall even deeper in to fuel poverty. Then the elderly and the infirm will die in even greater numbers than they do now.
Of course those numbers are hidden, the less obvious cost of being anti-nuclear. Nuclear power would allow Bg to become a net export energy once more and bring in much needed money to the coffers. It won't solve all the problems of fuel poverty, but it's a start.
In addition to that the country, the whole of Europe needs reliable power supplies - it's the way the world works. The fossil stations are heating the atmosphere, causing death already in some parts of the world in a way which is much harder to quantify than a potential nuclear meltdown is. But I don't accept the difficulty in counting the dead means we can ignore it and pretend it is only nuclear that has the risks.
Lastly we could dump fossil fuels and nuclear and just rely on renewables. But that means restructuring society around a new paradigm of unreliable power - and the world isn't prepared for that. It is simply not an option.
Actually I'm pretty clued up...cost is only one aspect of sustainability. I never said it would be cheap. But it is the only realistic way of providing sustainable and reliable base load generation. Renewables have a part to play, but they can't do the donkey work. It's fossil fuels, or nuclear..
anyone who thinks nuclear is viable clearly has no idea of the costs at the end of the plants lifetime which are never factored into the "costs" of a project, and are usually left to the taxpayer to clear up.
sure, wind power is pricier initially, but there's not much clearup cost to knocking down a big metal pole, and if it has a meltdown then it doesn't poison the entire surrounding area for hundreds of years afterwards.