US Ambassador Questions Feasibility of Belene Nuclear Plant

Business » ENERGY | October 24, 2010, Sunday // 17:42
Bulgaria: US Ambassador Questions Feasibility of Belene Nuclear Plant US Ambassador Warlick said Chevron is ready to survey shale gas deposits in Bulgaria. Photo by BGNES

US Ambassador James Warlick has expressed misgivings about the feasibility of Bulgaria's planned second nuclear plant at Belene.

"There are two questions that Bulgaria must ask itself – if the Belene NPP is an economically feasible project, and, second, if it provides Bulgaria and the entire region with energy security. I am not sure that there are answers to these questions. We are talking about billions of leva here, and the decisions that will be made with respect to Belene will affect Bulgaria's energy system for decades to come," Warlick said on the Bulgarian National Radio Sunday.

His questioning of Belene came at about the same time as Parliament Chair Tsacheva said Bulgaria was in an advanced stages of talks with Russia and had secured a German investor for the future NPP.

Warlick futher stated he was now aware of the content of the document that Bulgaria just signed with Gazprom about the South Stream gas transit pipeline.

"The Bulgarians need greater transparency in energy as a whole. The government must commit to Nabucco, which should be one of its key priorities, if not the key priority," Warlick said.

He mentioned that the US company Chevron was ready to come to Bulgaria immediately in order to start researching potential shale gas deposits.

"I hope the government will react quickly in order to allow these surveys to find out whether there are large deposits of shale gas," he said.

He encouraged the Bulgarian government to focus on energy security and diversification of energy supply, including on connecting Bulgaria's gas network to those of Greece, Romania and Turkey.

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Tags: Belene NPP, Nuclear Power Plant, Gazprom, US Ambassador, James Warlick, South stream, Russia, Nabucco
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