Conservation organisation WWF has welcomed the decision by Bulgaria’s Cabinet to abandon plans to build the 2000 megawatt Belene nuclear power plant on the Danube River close to the Romanian border, but said that adding a new reactor to Bulgaria’s nuclear plant at Kozloduy and building a natural gas power plant in Belene instead was not the answer to Bulgaria’s energy needs.
"We campaigned against Belene for several years because we believe that nuclear power has no place in our future," Georgi Stefanov, Climate Change expert at WWF in Bulgaria, said.
"We are satisfied with this decision, but we believe that developing big energy projects along the Danube that rely upon nuclear power or fossil fuels is not what Bulgaria needs. Nuclear energy is simply not safe, while fossil fuels cause climate change and often contaminate land and water alike. And let’s not forget the economic value of biodiversity which would be inadvertently lost through big infrastructure projects like these," Stefanov said.
According to plans announced by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, one of the 1000 megawatt reactors intended for Belene which Bulgaria has already paid for, will be placed in Bulgaria's sole nuclear power plant at Kozloduy, also on the Danube river. At the same time the site at Belene would be used to build a natural gas power plant.
"How long until Bulgarian politicians wake up to intelligent energy?" Stefanov said
"The future belongs to clean, cheap, decentralised energy solutions based on renewable energy and energy efficiency. If we want to make a step in the right direction and change the way the world perceives Bulgaria, why not start by showing that we are committed to renewable energy and green economy?" he said said.
Bulgaria's Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev was to travel to Moscow on March 29 in an attempt to persuade the Russian company contracted to build Belene not to take legal action.
"We hope that the outcome from the meeting with the Russian side will be favourable for Bulgaria and that we have really seen the end of the Belene project. But I also want to state that we have no intention to quit the battle against nuclear power in Bulgaria and the use of fossil fuels," Stefanov said.