news 27 Feb 13

Bulgaria Confirms Decision to Scrap Belene Plant

Bulgaria's parliament on Wednesday confirmed a decision to abandon the Belene nuclear power plant project.

Novinite.com
Sofia

The vote in parliament was prompted by a recent referendum on the construction of a new nuclear power plant, which put the Belene project back on parliament's agenda, as the voter turnout exceeded 20 per cent.

About 61 per cent of voters said "Yes" to the construction of a new nuclear power plant, and 39 per cent said "No".

The right-wing Blue Coalition and the ruling center-right GERB have opposed plans for a second nuclear power plant, while the left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party and the far-right nationalist Ataka have supported them.

Ahead of Tuesday, the Blue Coalition tabled a proposal to scrap the project for good, while the BSP countered with the exactly opposite one. Some 114 parliamentarians voted in favour of the Blue Coalition's proposal, while 40 were against. Meanwhile, 96 lawmakers voted against the BSP's proposal, while 33 were in favour.

MPs from Socialist Party and Ataka expressed their hope that the next parliament will revive the project.

Borisov's GERB government scrapped the project to construct Belene in March 2012. The move led Russia's Rosatom to file a suit with an international arbitration court in Paris.

After work started in the 1980s, construction of the second nuclear power plant at Belene stopped in the early 1990s over lack of money and environmental protests.

Belene has been de facto frozen since the fall of 2009 when the previously selected strategic investor, Germany's RWE, which was supposed to provide 2 billion euro in exchange for a 49 per cent stake, pulled out.


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