Bulgaria scraps plan for second nuclear plant

Associated Press + More

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — 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 Wednesday.

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 Thursday, 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.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.