Bulgaria Nuclear Watchdog May Okay Belene Project by Mid 2010

Business » ENERGY | January 22, 2010, Friday // 18:45| Views: | Comments: 6
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria Nuclear Watchdog May Okay Belene Project by Mid 2010 Nuclear Regulation Agency Chair Tsochev has said the Belene plant project could be ready in several months. Photo by BGNES

The technical project for Bulgaria’s second nuclear power plant may receive a regulator approval by the summer of 2010.

This was announced Friday by Sergey Tsochev, Chair of Bulgaria’s Nuclear Regulation Agency, during a news conference in which he accounted for the activities of the state nuclear watchdog in 2009.

According to Tsochev, the Nuclear Regulation Agency has reviewed the 30 000-page technical project for the Belene Nuclear Power Plant submitted to it by the National Electric Company NEK, and has returned with its notes and remarks.

NEK have promised to take them into account, and to send the project back to the nuclear watchdog in two months, which means that some 2-3 months later the final draft of the Belene project could be ready, and approved by the nuclear regulator.

Tsochev did say that if there was a new investor in Belene (which will most likely be the case), they might demand that another type of technology be used as opposed to the presently approved Russian-made VVER reactors.

The Nuclear Agency Chair, however, made it clear he really preferred to stick to the already approved technology because the final approval of the technical project was very close, and if a new technology is demanded by a new investor, the process would have to start all over again.

The remarks that the regulator has made on the project submitted to it by NEK have to do with discrepancies in some of the project drafts, and with asking for greater evidence that the project corresponds to the conditions on the ground at the existing Belene construction site.

Bulgaria is still looking for foreign investors for Belene as the German company RWE which was supposed to own 49% of the future plant, and to provide some EUR 2 B in funding pulled out in the fall of 2009.

Tsochev explained that currently the Nuclear Regulation Agency was not involved in any form in projects researching the possibility for constructing new nuclear reactors at Bulgaria’s only operational nuclear power plant at Kozloduy.

Borislav Stanimirov, Deputy Chair of the Agency, said that older research projects, which had not been completed, had shown that the site of the Kozloduy plant could host two more nuclear reactors.

The Kozloduy NPP currently has 2 active 1000-MW reactors, and 4 closed 440-MW reactors, which were shut at the insistence of the EU.

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Tags: Belene NPP, Kozloduy NPP, Belene Nuclear Power Plant, Nuclear Regulation Agency, Nuclear Power Plant, Sergey Tsochev, NEK
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» To the forumComments (6)
jingsmaboab - 24 Jan 2010 // 13:38:48

Oh you Bulgarians just love to play the victim. Good job that the EU insisted that BG close down the nukes. Otherwise the union of nuclear workers would have kept them open for too long, and Chernobyl Mark II could have been the result.

Thank goodness that the BG state is weak, with these corrupt gangsters running it, would be terrifying if BG was a "strong" state!

FIGMENT - 23 Jan 2010 // 17:55:34


" More like spleensleaze... HAHAHAHAHAHA !"


FIGMENT - 23 Jan 2010 // 17:40:34


I think the Bulgarian bean counters crunched the numbers--they are good in arithmetic--and realized that it is more cost-effective to close K and take the money from the EU than keep K open and risk a Chernobil incident. These K units are old, inefficient, and they cost more to operate and maintain than the profit the energy from them would generate. Maybe I am overestimating the intelligence of the Bulgarian bean counters? lol

Balgarska - 23 Jan 2010 // 17:33:49

The shutdown of Kozloduy units should be considered criminal. The EU major powers doesn't want to see a strong Bulgarian state; they prefer to have us rely on them rather than see a self-reliant and self-sufficient Bulgarian state.

I'll bet you 100 leva that they're behind the delaying of Belene NPP.

BULERICAN - 23 Jan 2010 // 16:53:36

So all those 100's if not 1000's of articles across European media claiming that the K - nukes were being closed as a condition of ascession for BG without mention of "dangerous or safety", they were simply lies ???

And you now in all your power are correcting all those incorrect reports, and the apparent lies that the EU told the world during ascession discussions . Thank God we have you here to protect us.

Oh that evil media !!!

How many ships did you guys crash into this week ???

Did you put out any coal mine fires in China ???

France still has 58 nukes don't they ???

Greenpeace ?

More like spleensleaze... HAHAHAHAHAHA !

Jan Haverkamp - Greenpeace - 23 Jan 2010 // 15:38:11

Just for clarity sake - the four first blocks of the Kozloduy NPP were not closed "at the insistence of the EU", but because they were too dangerous. This was pointed out first by the G7 in Munich in 1992 and the Bulgarian government agreed with the closure of the blocks for this reason during the negotiations for EU accession.

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