Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Bulgaria Update: Two Nuclear Reactors to Return, Russian Nuclear Powerplant Contract to be Concluded Tomorrow

Posted by K.E. White on January 17, 2008

Bulgaria, having trouble meeting its growing energy needs, is set to sign a contract with Russia for a nuclear power plant tomorrow.

From CNN.com:

‘We will sign on January 18 an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build two pressurized water reactors of 1,000 megawatts each,’ Economy and Energy minister Petar Dimitrov told a news conference.

‘The contract will be implemented by Atomstroiexport. A joint venture between Areva and Siemens (NYSE:SI) will be the sub-contractor,’ Dimitrov said, putting the total value of the contract at 4 bln eur.

A letter-of-intent to build the plant at Belene on the River Danube was signed in November 2006.

But this deal is not stopping Bulgaria from reopening to nuclear reactors it shut down to join the European Union. From the Kyiv Post:

Plagued by electricity shortages, Bulgaria on Wednesday announced it was considering plans to reopen nuclear reactors it had to shut down before joining the European Union a year ago.

The two Russian-made units at Bulgaria‘s only nuclear plant, Kozlodui, were switched off just hours before the Balkan country joined the European Union on Jan. 1, 2007.

“We are holding active diplomatic talks to achieve the necessary support to prolong the life of Kozlodui’s units 3 and 4,” Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev said.

He did not elaborate but said reopening the reactors was a “clear political choice of the government.”

The move would require approval from the other 26 EU members.

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