Bulgaria banks on Western technology to use its Russian nuclear reactors

Bulgaria banks on Western technology to use its Russian nuclear reactors | INFBusiness.com

Bulgaria has not shelved plans to build a second nuclear power plant on the banks of the Danube River with Russian nuclear reactors it purchased from the country six years ago, hoping that Western technology could make the reactors work now that Moscow’s participation is impossible.

The government intends to commission French company EDF to analyse the feasibility of completing the Belene nuclear power plant project, which dates back 40 years and has been frozen several times by different governments.

Bulgaria ordered two Russian nuclear reactors for the nuclear project in Belene six years ago, but following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the participation of Russian companies in completing the project became impossible.

The alternative is the construction of two new American nuclear reactors on the site of the currently functioning nuclear power plant in Kozloduy.

The caretaker government, appointed by President Rumen Radev, wants the parliament to decide whether to give life to the Belene nuclear project or to look for buyers for the Russian equipment delivered in 2017, reports the Mediapool news site.

The Energy Ministry is awaiting offers from France’s EDF for the terms and price for completing the project with the Russian reactors but without Russian participation.

Bulgaria is also expecting an offer from Westinghouse for the construction of new reactors at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant.

On 19 May, Energy Minister Rosen Hristov bemoaned how much the project cost for the state, pointing to the state’s €1.25 billion investment so far.

“We are standing on assets for €1.25 billion, for the maintenance of which we pay several million a year, and it is high time for Bulgaria to decide on this significant strategic asset”, said Hristov after he was in France and held talks with EDF over the Belene project.

It is high time to stop pouring money into a project without any perspective about its future, said Hristov.

Pointing to the “excellent” condition of the Russian reactors, amongst other things, the energy minister said, “all this information will be provided to the parliament for a final decision.”

(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)

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