Bulgaria Close to Getting EU Nuclear Decommissioning Aid

Bulgaria in EU | May 16, 2010, Sunday // 12:19|  views

The final approval for Bulgaria's EU nuclear decommissioning aid is expected to be granted by the European Parliament on May 20. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The European Parliament announced that it will put to the vote on Thursday the proposal for financial assistance with respect to the decommissioning of Units 1 to 4 of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant in Bulgaria.

At the end of April Bulgaria came closer to receiving EUR 300 M in additional EU nuclear decommissioning aid after the EP Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy backed the proposal.

The EP Committee approved all amendments to the EC proposal for additional compensations to Bulgaria put forward by the Bulgarian MEP Vladimir Urutchev.

At the beginning of April 2010, the EP Environment Committee defeated the report of the German MEP Rebecca Harms demanding that the allocating of the EUR 300 M to Bulgaria be made conditional on its starting to build a nuclear waste storage site, and that the funds be used solely for projects related with the Kozloduy NPP.

Thus, the Bulgarian government will be able to realize its intentions to use about EUR 180 M from the decommissioning package for projects related to the technical putting out of operation of the four reactors and for social projects in the town Kozloduy, and to channel the remaining EUR 120 M into projects for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Bulgaria is expected to get the first EUR 75 M from the package in June 2010.

Over the last ten years Bulgaria has received a total of EUR 550 M in compensation for the closure of four units at Kozloduy that had been deemed unsafe, but the government hopes to receive EUR 300 M more under Europe's recovery plan.

Bulgaria's previous Socialist-led government first called for additional money a year ago and went as far as to ask Brussels to compensate the country for the double blow of the gas crisis and the global economic slowdown by allowing a restart of the units.

The European Commission however has been adamant that a relaunch of the Soviet-era reactors at Bulgaria's sole nuclear power plant is out of the question.

The plant, which has been operating since 1974, has raised safety concerns, and Bulgaria agreed to shut four of its reactors as a condition of joining the EU.

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Tags: decommissioning aid, Nuclear Power Plant, Kozloduy NPP, Vladimir Urutchev, MEP, EP


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