Bulgaria's Ex EU Commissioner: Belene NPP Only with Western Investor

Energy | January 27, 2013, Sunday // 20:32|  views

Meglena Kuneva, leader of Bulgaria for Citizens party and first and former European Commissioner. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's second Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of Belene should be built only with a western investor, according to Meglena Kuneva.

Kuneva, leader of Bulgaria for Citizens party and first and former European Commissioner, spoke for Nova TV after the announcement of exit polls results in the country's first national referendum since 1989.

She noted she was not against the development of nuclear energy in Bulgaria, but was firmly against the referendum since it was simply a rehearsal to harden the ranks of the two main parties – the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, and the opposition, left-wing Socialist Party, BSP.

Kuneva stated people wanted to know who the investor would be and her opinion was that it should be a western one as the only warranty for top quality.

A turnout of 20.3% was announced Bulgaria's Alfa Research polling agency minutes at the closing of the polling sections at 7 pm.

The referendum asks the question "Should nuclear energy be developed in the Republic of Bulgaria through the construction of a new nuclear power plant?"

The vote is binding if the number of votes equals that of votes at the last parliamentary elections, 4,225,124, and if more than half of them vote "yes".

If less people vote on the referendum, but if the turnout is over 20%, and more than half of the votes are positive, then the question is tabled for debate to parliament.

The exit polls results mean that now Belene NPP will be put back on the agenda, as the activity slightly exceeded 20%.

At 10 am, the Central Electoral Commission had reported a turnout of 2.1%, at 1 pm it rose to 9.34%, and to 17.4% at 5 pm.

The referendum was sponsored by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, which gathered a petition of more than the 0.5 million legally needed signatures.

Originally, Belene NPP had to be built by Russian state company Atomstroyexport, but the Bulgarian cabinet froze the project in the early spring of 2012 due to perceived lack of economic effectiveness.

Kuneva's had always stated it will boycott the vote.

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Tags: Alfa Research, exit poll, DPS, Bulgaria for Citizens, Referendum, Belene, nuclear units, Nuclear Power Plant, Bulgarian Socialist Party, GERB, Belene NPP, nuclear energy, Referendum, NPP, European Commissioner, Bulgaria for Citizens, Meglena Kuneva, BSP


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