Bulgaria N-Plant CEO Beaten in the Head, Life Not in DangerCrime | November 22, 2011, Tuesday // 10:14| views
Alexander Nikolov replaced Kostadin Dimitrov as Kozloduy CEO, who retired, citing health reasons. File photo
The general director of Bulgaria's sole nuclear power plant Kozloduy, who was attacked late on Monday, has been beaten black and blue, but his life is out of danger, police said.
According to the police two unidentified assaulters attacked Alexander Nikolov while he was on his way home and brutally beat him on the head, tearing off part of his right ear.
The attackers have fled the scene of the crime.
The news comes just two months after the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) appointed Alexander Nikolov CEO of the Kozloduy plant. Before that he was a Board member.
Nikolov replaced Kostadin Dimitrov, who retired, citing health reasons.
In April 2008 an energy boss whose company was in charge of maintenance of the Kozloduy reactors was killed in Sofia, fueling suspicions that links between the mafia and the political system run deep in the energy sector.
Reports surfaced about an intricate electricity price-calculation scheme that exploited corrupt practices during public procurement orders.
Kozloduy is the only nuclear power plant in Bulgaria and the largest electricity producer in the country, providing more than one third of the national electricity output annually. The company has been operating since 1974 and employs about 4200 people. The company is entirely state-owned and a subsidiary of the Bulgarian Energy Holding.
It has raised safety concerns, and the country agreed to shut four of its reactors as a condition of joining the European Union.
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.
The European Commission is expected to propose this week that an extra EUR 500 M in EU financial support is provided for decommissioning the Soviet-era nuclear reactors in Bulgaria, Slovakia and Lithuania.
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