The European Commission confirmed that the resumption of the closure of the Belene nuclear power plant in 2012 needs to be overestimated as to whether it complies with European rules and whether it complies with the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom Treaty) and, possibly, the project in order to get permission again. This was answered by Brussels on the issues of “Democratic Bulgaria,” proposed by His Holiness Vladyka Svyatoslav Malinov in September, the side said on Thursday.
Already during the discussion of the need to resume a nuclear project related to nuclear energy, by attracting a strategic investor to it, a number of nuclear experts warned that this would require a new assessment of the project by Brussels. Among the reasons were the changes in nuclear safety requirements after the accident at the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima in March 2011, caused by the tsunami. The Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency also recognized that a new EU permit would be required, but said that it would be formal and necessary because of the possible change of the investor in the project, which is currently the National Electricity Company (NEC).
Proper promotion of the project, which has a substantial part of the necessary nuclear equipment and a number of regulatory approvals, is mentioned by the government as an advantage and an opportunity for its rapid implementation. The government’s statement is that there are no regulatory barriers to the project, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.
After a two-year procedure, the NEC received the approval of Belene NPP in Brussels in December 2007, when the European Commission announced that it had "given a positive opinion on the initiative, as required by the Euratom Treaty". According to the Commission’s assessment, the selected project for Belene NPP includes protection against external risks, even earthquakes and aircraft accidents, but after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the criteria for these protection measures were raised.
Svyatoslav Malinov (EPP, Democratic Bulgaria) asked two parliamentary questions in September for a written response to the European Commission. The first was the government’s decision to renew the Belene NPP project, and the second was about new requirements for the construction of nuclear power plants in the EU, adopted after the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Answers to these questions have already been received, announced from Democratic Bulgaria.
The party recalls that the decision of the National Assembly in March 2012 to freeze nuclear construction is justified by the conviction that high safety standards can only be guaranteed with the most modern technologies; with concerns about seismic risk on the Belene website and the inability of the republican budget to finance a project with unproved economic efficiency.
After the summer of 2016, NEK was recognized by the Russian contractor of the Atomstroyexport project for 1.2 billion Levs for the ordered and manufactured equipment for Belene NPP and repaid the debt at the end of the same year when the GERB government looked for arguments in favor of restarting the project. Two weeks ago, the government approved a procedure for finding a majority or minority shareholders in a project. Large consumers of electricity are expected to have an interest, or at least a request to conclude contracts for the purchase of electricity from a future nuclear power plant, which would guarantee that markets and revenues will pay for investments of about 20 billion Levs.
The European Commission replied "Democratic Bulgaria" that “The resumption of the Belene NPP project in 2018 is a new project within the meaning of Article 41 of the Euratom Treaty”,This means that he will also develop a new opinion on the compliance of the draft with EU rules.
The European Commission emphasizes that it attaches paramount importance to nuclear safety and the protection of citizens. She recalled that in accordance with European legislation after the Fukushima accident, measures were taken to ensure a higher level of nuclear safety, especially with regard to the assessment of natural hazards, including earthquakes, the party said.
“This means that in practice, new investors who are currently looking for a government will have to agree to go for a project that is not currently approved by the European Commission and will still have to be evaluated according to strict European criteria after Fukushima”,– said Svyatoslav Malinov. According to him "There is no investor to settle for this adventure."
“Belene NPP will never be built, but the possibility of stealing new money from the Bulgarians still remains.” “Belene NPP is dead”. Why GERB refuses to bury her?he commented
From Democratic Bulgaria, they also note that the European Parliament also signs a letter to the Bulgarian government, in which he recalls the 1977 earthquake with the epicenter of Vrancea, which killed more than 120 people, and many buildings were demolished in Svishtov and neighboring villages along the Danube.
The party called on the government of Boyko Borisov to stop all actions that could lead to new expenses and unnecessary money for the Bulgarian taxpayers. “Belene is already closed page. We will not allow Borisov to pour money into the pocket of the energy mafia ", ends the announcement of "Democratic Bulgaria".
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