Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bulgaria to Hold Referendum on Nuclear Plant in January

But it's not what you think in the post-Fukushima world, not like the recent Lithuanian referendum. Bulgarian socialists are angry that the deal with Russia's Rosatom to build a nuke plant fell apart.

Bulgaria has one nuclear power plant (Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant) with two operating reactors. The plant covers about 40% of the country's energy demand, according to wiki.

I wonder if Hitachi or Toshiba is actively selling in Bulgaria.

From Bloomberg News (10/31/2012):

Bulgaria Will Hold Referendum on Nuclear Plant Jan. 27

Bulgaria will hold a referendum on whether to build a new nuclear plant on Jan. 27, President Rosen Plevneliev said in e-mailed statement today.

Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s Cabinet canceled on March 28 a 10 billion-euro ($12.25 billion) project to build a 2,000- megawatt nuclear power plant at Belene with Rosatom Corp., Russia’s state nuclear company, after failing to agree on its cost and find Western investors.

The move caused criticism from the opposition socialist party, which said the government deprived the country from an electricity source. Rosatom filed a 1 billion-euro claim on Sept. 11 with the International Court of Arbitration in Paris to cover construction work and production costs on the canceled project.

The socialist party collected about 770,000 signatures under a proposal to hold a referendum on whether to continue with the construction of the Belene plant, which was submitted to Parliament in July. The assembly voted on Oct. 24 to hold a referendum on a new nuclear plant, formulating the question without the mention of Belene.

The government also plans to build new reactor at the existing nuclear plant Kozloduy, in northern Bulgaria.

“The referendum will not address neither the problem with Belene, nor all the development and financing issues related to the new reactor in Kozloduy, because of the way it is formulated, asking a general question,” Ilian Vassilev, managing partner at Innovative Energy Solutions Ltd. in Sofia, said in an e-mail Oct. 24.


Anonymous said...

Suckers for punishment!

Atomfritz said...

This way of formulating the question could be seen as an invitation to Toshiba and Hitachi.

I am sure the Bulgarians have very carefully observed what happened in Lithuania.

Remember, Bulgaria was coerced to shut down its four VVER-440 reactors (total net output 1600MWe) like Lithuania was coerced to shut down its two RMBK-1500 (total net output 2400MWe) to be allowed ascension into the EU.
This made both countries electricity importers instead of electricity exporters.

I guess, aside to practically completely finance the planned reactors, the Japanese government will even be willing to pay the damages the Bulgarians have to pay to Rosatom for the canceled VVER-1000 project.

Atomfritz said...

By the way, EX-SKF correctly noticed that different peoples think different and feel different, up to the degree that peoples don't comprehend other peoples.

To some non-Bulgarian people it might be surprising that the Bulgarian Green party is pro-nuclear:

"In 1999 Kozloduy NPP was awarded the Bulgarian Green Party prize for its significant contribution to the environment protection, in acknowledgement of the safety enhancement implemented at the plant, and for its positive role on a national scale in achieving reduced emissions of carbon dioxide."

quoted from:

Anonymous said...

I've seen people argue that nuclear energy is "green" and "good for the environment" (compared to the alternatives, which doesn't actually mean it's good at all), so it's not surprising to me.

Anonymous said...

Is the Bulgarian Green Party green?
Was the German National Socialist party socialist?
Is the Cinese Communist Party communist?
Is the Japanese Democratic Party democratic?
What is in a name? That which we call a power plant is just a plutonium factory.

Anonymous said...

I need me some of those 1.21 jigawatts.

Anonymous said...

Be careful you don't overload your flux capacitor most are only rated for 1.2 gigawatts.

Anonymous said...

Damn it, the spelling for that always confuses me. I've seen people write it as "jiggawatts" too.

It's difficult to spell fictional terms correctly!

Anonymous said...

A nuke plant can only supply electricity, not "energy". Electricity demand is only a fraction of total energy demand (10-20% at best). So the BG nuke plant probably covers 40% of the country's electricity demand (which is remarkable!).

Since the electricity portion in energy is so low, you can see that arguing nuke is helping limiting CO2 releases is wrong. The benefits are not significant.

pat said...

Bulgaria should build wind turbines.

Cheaper and more cost effective

Anonymous said...

To be precise, nuclear was 5% of Japan energy consumption.
Now it should be some 0.2% :)

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