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Bulgaria scraps plan for second nuclear plant

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March 28, 2012, 5:30 p.m. | World — by Associated Press

Bulgaria has abandoned plans to build a second 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant on the Danube River with Russian firm Atomstroyexport, a top official said on March 28.
© AFP

SOFIA — Bulgaria has abandoned plans to build a second 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant on the Danube River with Russian firm Atomstroyexport, a top official said on March 28. After a government meeting, Vladislav Goranov, Bulgaria's deputy finance minister said the nuclear power plant will not be built in the Danube town of Belene but a natural gas power plant would be built there instead. He did not elaborate.

Goranov said one of the two 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactors already assembled by Rosatom subsidiary Atomstroyexport and originally meant for Belene will be placed in Bulgaria's sole nuclear power plant, Kozloduy, boosting its capacity to 3,000 megawatts.

On March 29, Bulgaria's newly appointed Economy and Energy Minister, Delyan Dobrev, is scheduled to travel to Moscow to talk to Russian officials about the decision.

Prime Minister Boiko Borisov's center-right government has repeatedly pledged to lessen Bulgaria's almost total dependence on Russian energy supplies.

Last December, Bulgaria dealt a blow to Moscow's plans to expand its energy sales in Europe, scrapping a €1 billion ($1.34 billion) pipeline deal to carry Russian oil to Greece due to financial reasons.
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