EP Votes Yes to Bulgaria EU Nuclear Decommissioning Aid

Bulgaria in EU | May 20, 2010, Thursday // 14:21|  views

The final approval for Bulgaria's EU nuclear decommissioning was granted by the European Parliament on May 20. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The European Parliament gave the green light on Thursday on a proposed Council regulation to provide an extra EUR 300 M in EU financial support for decommissioning the Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear power plant.

All four reactors there have now been shut down, but the extra funding is needed until the end of 2013 to decommission them safely, says the proposal, adopted by the parliament.

The parliament's resolution says that of the EUR 300 M total, EUR 180 M should go to ensure safe decommissioning and EUR 120 M should be used to fund energy-saving measures. This funding would be additional to EUR 210 M in EU support for 2007-2009, agreed under Bulgaria's EU accession treaty.

Under that treaty, Kozloduy was to be decommissioned by 2009, but the work was not completed on time. Bulgaria therefore asked that the EU funding be extended until 2013, to allow it to be completed safely.

Slovakia and Lithuania have received similar extensions in the past.

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

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, Kozloduy


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