SOFIA, March 22 (Itar-Tass) — It is early to say Bulgaria refuses to carry out the Belene nuclear power plant project, Bulgarian expert for energy security Nina Djugerova told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
Commenting on a statement by Finance Minister Simeon Djankov saying, “Bulgaria will say ‘no’ to the Belene nuclear power plant project”, Djugerova said, “It is early to say the implementation of the project will be stopped. The agreement on extending the talks will expire on March 31. The cabinet of ministers will gather next week that is why the government has time to take a decision. We should not forget that the British Bank, HSBC, will be ready to present a full analysis of economic expediency of the project only by the middle of October.”
“If nuclear power plants are being built all around the world and if Bulgaria politicises this issue, the development of events will run counter Bulgaria’s interests. The Belene nuclear power plant is an important project for Russia and a strategic project for Bulgaria. The refusal will mean that Bulgaria can be on the periphery of Europe and of the world,” the expert stressed.
Djugerova noted that the nuclear power plant, built in compliance with modern technologies and all security standards, will guarantee energy security of the country. “The Belene nuclear power plant is a Bulgarian project, even despite the composition of shareholders. If the government decides on the implementation of the project based on national interests, it will be approved because it guarantees the country’s energy future,” she concluded.
Her view has been shared by former director of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant Jordan Kostadinov, who said that the Belene nuclear power plant was an investment project. “If the project is not realised, electricity tariffs will grow in Bulgaria,” he said.
“The situation in the energy sector is difficult. In one or two years we should increase our capacity. The future of Bulgarian nuclear power engineering depends on where the Belene reactor will be sent to,” the official said.